18:44 GMT24 July 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated medical workers and veterans of the Russian healthcare system on Medical Worker Day, thanking them for their efforts in the fight against COVID-19 and calling for a more active vaccination programme.

    "Our common goal is to focus all our efforts and all our resources on protecting citizens against the coronavirus and its effects. First, it is imperative to step up the vaccination rates. We have all we need to do this. Russia has four coronavirus vaccines of its own, and new vaccines and medications are under development," Putin said in a statement on Sunday.

    The Russian president emphasized that medical workers are countering the coronavirus epidemic around the clock, treating COVID-19 patients in intensive care units and hospital red zones, and providing ambulance emergency services.

    "All links of our public healthcare chain continue working in unison, in a well-coordinated manner. Each of you is acting professionally and reliably," Putin said.

    He added that Russian medical workers will continue getting special compensation for their work amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    "During the pandemic, we are focusing on supporting doctors, nurses and ambulance teams that deal directly with coronavirus patients. Overall, almost 1.2 million medical workers received special payments. More than 350 billion rubles [$4.8 billion] have already been set aside for these purposes. And I want to make it clear today: these payments will continue into the future," Putin stressed on Sunday.

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    coronavirus, COVID-19, Russia, Putin
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