MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. Deputy Speaker of Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) Pyotr Tolstoy has addressed President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Hendrik Daems, suggesting that funds saved by cancelling various PACE events should be allocated to fight coronavirus in Europe. The member of parliament posted a picture of the letter on his Facebook page on Monday.
PACE’s spring session initially scheduled to be held in Strasbourg in late April has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“In the name of the Russian delegation, I propose that we determine as quickly as possible the scale of these savings and send them urgently to the most [virus] affected countries to help them fight the epidemic,” the letter reads. According to Tolstoy who heads the Russian delegation to PACE, these funds will be only a fraction of amounts needed by these countries, but even this contribution will allow saving lives. He also urged Daems to appeal to the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers “to take similar humanitarian action.”
“It’s better to help people out than argue about human rights and buy new chairs,” he added in a comment to his Facebook post.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. To date, approximately 1,300,000 people have been infected worldwide and roughly 70,000 deaths have been reported. That said, over 265,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
So far, a total of 6,343 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 406 patients having recovered from the virus. The country’s latest data indicates 47 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.