A forum covering the coronavirus took place in Moscow on Saturday and was streamed on the YouTube channels Roscongress TV and Doctor, as well as on the popular Russian social networking site OK.ru. The event, entitled The Next 20 Years, was organized by the Roscongress Foundation with support from the Doctor Channel.
“The spread of the coronavirus and restrictions put in place to combat it not only determined the agenda of the event, but its online format too. The Roscongress Foundation intends to continue working on digital projects such as this one. During this period of self-isolation, they enable people to communicate with one another and share advanced practices and knowledge,” said Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Roscongress Foundation Alexander Stuglev.
Speakers at The Next 20 Years included Melita Vuinovich, representative of the World Health Organization in the Russian Federation, and Andrey Klepach, Chief Economist at the state development corporation VEB.RF. The guests each gave lectures on the situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic in Russia and the world, and answered viewers’ questions submitted via the streaming sites. The forum was moderated by Alexey Bobrovsky, Head of Russia 24’s Economic News Service.
“Russia’s healthcare system is ready to fight the coronavirus, but it’s vital to adhere to self-isolation guidelines and stay at home in order to curtail growth in the number of infections,” said Vuinovich. “The epidemic is increasing in speed. It is like a race. That said, we can stop it if we follow the recommendations.”
The most important things to do include maintaining social distancing and regularly sanitizing hands and objects that are handled by people. More information on the recommendations given by Vuinovich is available on the ROSCONGRESS.ORG Information and Analytical System.
In his lecture, Klepach focused on the economic impact of the pandemic, and put forward three possible scenarios for the future. In the most optimistic scenario, the global economy would continue to grow, albeit at a lower rate than previously forecast. This would primarily be driven by the economies of China and India. The second scenario is one of stagnation, with growth close to 0%. The third possibility is a major recession, with the global economy contracting by 1.5–2%. However, this is the least likely scenario.
“Concrete measures which should mitigate the consequences for business and the public have already been taken by the Russian government. These not only include social benefits, but tax breaks for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as microenterprises. Nevertheless, judging by the experience of other countries, and the state of crisis that a whole range of industries are in, it is clear that additional economic measures are needed,” Klepach said.
The event took place following a programme on Roscongress TV which explored the impact the coronavirus outbreak has had on the convention and exhibition industry. To view the programme, click here.
In addition, a guide on preventing and treating COVID-19 infections has been published on the ROSCONGRESS.ORG Information and Analytical System. It is the first scientific guide of its kind drawn up by the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation, with support from the First Affiliated Hospital of the Zhejiang University School of Medicine (China). The handbook was translated into Russian by Rossiya Segodnya news agency with support from the Russian Direct Investment Fund and in scientific consultation with the Sechinov First Moscow State Medical University.