Updated 5:15 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, October 16 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will allocate a total of 779.4 million rubles ($19 million) to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
“Since the start of the crisis, caused by the expansion of the Ebola virus, the Russian Federation has been consistently stepping up efforts to provide its support, including financial. Our country’s contribution to international efforts to tackle the Ebola virus outbreak stands up at a total of 779.4 million rubles, with some disbursements already made and some yet to be made,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Russia will continue to pay close attention to the current healthcare crisis in West Africa, caused by the Ebola virus outbreak,” the statement reads.
On Monday, President Vladimir Putin said that Russian experts are studying the possibility of deploying planes with special medical equipment, including life-support capsules for transporting Ebola-infected patients.
Earlier, Moscow stated that it was considering sending additional healthcare workers to West Africa in order to stop the spread of the virus. A team of Russian epidemiologists, virologists and bacteriologists is already stationed in Guinea, where the current Ebola epidemic started.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) over 4,400 people have died from Ebola. The virus is transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. There is no officially approved cure for the disease, but several countries are currently working on developing Ebola vaccines, with Russia planning to introduce three vaccines within the next six months.