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Anton Morozov

Member of the High Council of the LDPR, Deputy of the State Duma | Russia

Anton Morozov is the MP of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and a Member of State Duma Committee on International Affairs. Morozov also serves at the LDPR High Council as a Member. He graduated from the Moscow State University, Faculty of Physics in 1995 and completed the Russian Academy of State Service at the President of Russian Federation in 2005. Anton Morozov has worked at multiple levels of Liberal Democratic Party of Russia in different capacities, from Party Leader Assistant to LDPR HQ Chairman. From 2006 to 2011, he was the Deputy of Novgorod Provincial Duma. Mr. Morozov also served at the Permanent Mission of Russia to the UN as a Counselor. Anton Morozov discussed the best-practices in Russia to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic. He underlined that an effective strategy to fight the pandemic included the following: strengthening the country’s health care system, expansion of intensive care capacities and measures to slow down the infection. Morozov also talked about the Government of Russia`s response to the pandemic with preventive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.

Humankind has never faced as many global challenges as it does today. The COVID-19 Pandemic has become a real global health and economic crisis. Russia was affected by COVID-19 like many other countries and became a part of the ongoing pandemic of this disease. There are many speculations about the origin of that disease; some sources insist that this virus is a kind of bio-weapon.

However, all scientific analyses found no evidence that the virus was made in a laboratory or otherwise artificially engineered. It was confirmed that the virus came to Russia on January 31, 2020 through two Chinese citizens visiting Tyumen (Siberia) and Chita (Russian Far East). Both Chinese were tested positive for the virus. As the first step to prevent virus spreading, the extensive testing had started and the border with China was closed.

From February 2020 on, passengers arriving to Moscow by air from the most affected COVID-19 countries such as China, Iran, and South Korea were examined by a number of medical workers in protective gear to conduct passengers’ screening. People, who came from Europe before the flights were cancelled, had their temperatures checked and were sent home for a mandatory fourteen day quarantine.

On March 2, 2020 the infection spread from Italy and we brought in additional measures such as cancelling mass public events, closing schools, theaters and museums as well as shutting the international borders and declaring a nonworking period, which, after two extensions, lasted until May 11, 2020. By the end of March, the vast majority of regions and cities, including Moscow, had imposed lockdowns. However, by April 17, 2020 COVID cases had been confirmed all over the country.

As a transcontinental country, Russia had the highest number of confirmed cases in Europe and the second highest in Asia after India. However, at the global level, Russia had less cases than the United States, Brazil and India. We have had over one million total cases, over 170 thousand active cases, around 900 thousand recovered and close to two thousand deaths. Those figures are quite impressive; however, as per 1000 population Russia takes the 40th place by total cases and only the 100th place by the number of deaths. Furthermore, we are the first by number of COVID tests per 1000 population.

Over 38 million coronavirus tests have been done already and the members of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and its MPs are among the most active participants of this campaign. All Party headquarters have tests twice a month.

Our effective strategy to fight the pandemic included the following: strengthening the country’s health care system, expansion of intensive care capacities and measures to slow down the infection. A great number of hospitals all over the country got the “red zone” wards to treat COVID-19 patients. On a very short notice, Russian Army has established 18 field emergency hospitals to cover remote and the most affected areas. Only mass vaccination could stop any pandemic, therefore the main Russia research institutes started to work on it from the very beginning. Clinical trials of coronavirus vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute were officially completed on August 1, 2020 followed by six other research institutes.

The Government of Russia has initially responded to the pandemic with preventive measures to curb the spread of coronavirus disease, which involved imposing quarantines, carrying raids on potential virus carriers, and using facial recognition to impose quarantine measures. Other measures to prevent crisis in Russia included banning the export of medical masks, random checks on the Moscow transport system, including Moscow subway, cancellation of large-scale public events. The Russian government has also taken measures to prevent foreign citizens from heavily affected countries to visit Russia. Regional governments have also responded to the pandemic by imposing their own preventive measures in their local communities.

On March 29, 2020, stay-at-home order for all residents was introduced in Moscow. Citizens were not allowed to leave their homes except in cases of emergency medical care and other threats to life and health. Only a limited number of people from vital industries were allowed to travel to work, Moscow citizens could make purchases only in the nearest shop or pharmacy, to walk pets at a distance not exceeding 100 meters from their residence, as well as to take out the garbage. Socially safe distance of one and a half meters should be kept between people. The similar self-isolation regime was imposed in Moscow region and many other regions and cities. Such limitations were not popular among our population and even caused some social tension.

Testing, identification of cases, tracing contacts, isolation are all measures that W.H.O. proposes and recommends; they were in place at the times all over in Russia. This disease affected the whole nation with no exception. On April 25, two cases of COVID were confirmed in the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Federal Assembly, our Parliament. On May 13, 2020 the Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin announced that five Deputies had been infected. On May 20, the Chairwoman of the Federation Council, the Upper Chamber of our Parliament Valentina Matvienko said that five Senators had recovered from COVID-19. Thus, over 30 Deputies of our Parliament in total were affected by coronavirus

The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) and its Chairman Vladimir Zhirinovsky were among the first who started an active campaign against COVID-19. From the very beginning on February 19, LDPR Chairman demanded that all Duma Deputies should strictly comply with the rules of personal hygiene: wear protective masks and gloves, periodically and properly clean hands, maintain safe distance with others. Furthermore, Vladimir Zhirinovsky demanded to stop all handshakes and greeting hugs. As a result, being the first in those protective measures, LDPR Duma Deputies have avoided getting sick by COVID-19.

It was also decided to minimize the number of Deputy Assistants in the State Duma. The general access to Duma was limited and the majority of Deputy Assistants had started to work online from home. Duty trips for Duma Deputies were canceled as well as many public gatherings planned for the Spring-Summer 2020 were indefinitely postponed, including the annual international largescale Forum “Development of the Parliamentarism.” The State Duma authorities announced extra sanitization measures, limitation of quantity for parliamentary hearings and round tables.

On April 30, the Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Mikhail Murashko came to the State Duma to meet LDPR Deputies and the Party Chairman Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Both sides discussed the joint efforts to contain COVID – 19 spreading, how to provide people with low income with required medical assistance and medicines. Telecommunication has already proved to be the most effective measure to minimize COVID spread thus further emergency telemedicine development was the main topic of the discussion. Talking about preventive measures LDPR Chairman again pointed out the urgent necessity to wear protective masks and gloves in public.

When Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin was in Duma on July 22 with his report of the Cabinet recent activities, Vladimir Zhirinovsky draw attention to the fact, that the Prime Minister is not wearing protective mask giving a wrong example for all the others, especially taking into consideration that Mikhail Mishustin got sick with COVID – 19 last April and even was hospitalized. Other LDPR Deputies also actively participated in the joint fight against COVID-19 with concentration on the importance of preventive measures. LDPR Fraction Deputies made several initiatives and proposals to fight COVID-19 more effectively. Among LDPR Fraction initiatives are a proposal to reserve a significant share of advertising spaces in the city center for anti-pandemic campaign, to provide schoolchildren and students with protective masks free of charge and even to start a new school year one month later on October 1, 2020 to minimize the risk of pandemic among our children. Being a Member of State Duma Committee on International Affairs, I advocate against premature reopening of international flights to resort areas. COVID-19 came to our country from abroad and we should not forget about it.

On August 11 2020, Russia became the first country across the globe to register a vaccine against the coronavirus infection. The vaccine was developed by the Russian Health Ministry’s Gamaleya National Research Center underwent clinical trials in July. This great achievement of Russian medical science got full support from the LDPR. Vladimir Zhirinovsky proposed to reward all people involved. The Sputnik vaccine proved again that Russia is one of the greatest medical powers.

Western countries are trying to neglect our achievements, because they were looking for monopoly in vaccine production that could bring billions of super profits for their pharmaceutical giants. Russia also took part in an international project to develop and distribute a vaccine against coronavirus of a new type, one of the founders of which is the World Health Organization.

Moreover, the Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky was among the first injected with the first in the world registered coronavirus vaccine. He also called to vaccinate all the party’s 300 000 members as volunteers at the first test stage and we have already started our registration and medical tests for this forthcoming vaccination.

Yes, our country had some achievements in that fight against COVID-19 pandemic. However, we could not rest until the threat could be eliminated completely. With reference to the LDPR Chairman’s opinion, the ongoing pandemic revealed weak points and mistakes of the Russia country health care policy system; therefore, the forthcoming parliamentary session should be fully concentrated on required corrective measures.

We fully support the UN position that the COVID-19 Pandemic is more than a health crisis; it is an economic crisis, a humanitarian crisis, a security crisis, and a human rights crisis. Coming out of this crisis will require a wholeof-society, whole-of-government and whole-of-theworld approach driven by compassion and solidarity. On September 11, 2020 the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution for a “comprehensive and coordinated response” to the COVID-19 Pandemic which became an important contribution to enhancing global solidarity and give more possibility for international cooperation. Finally, no country in the world will be able to tackle COVID-19 on its own. The main strategy should be to act collectively so that nobody could be left behind.