"We have largely reoriented RDIF activity toward the coronavirus fight. As you see, we have invested into a test system, into medication production. We are discussing with the Moscow government application of cameras, which detect faces and measure persons' temperature remotely, we are also analyzing investment into artificial intelligence systems for telling simple pneumonia from pneumonia caused by the coronavirus," Dmitriev said.
He pointed to RDIF's social responsibility in the face of the pandemic, revealing that it has an intention to pour funds into production of medical products, such as sanitizers.
RDIF to Present System for Conducting 5,000 COVID-19 Tests Daily
The Russian Direct Investment Fund will also present an automatic system capable of conducting over 5,000 COVID-19 tests daily in a month.
"There are currently three products based on our technology. The fist one is a solution for existing laboratories that conduct PCR tests. They can use our test, and then it will take 30 minutes instead of two hours. The second one is a portable mobile device, which can be used at corporations and airports for conducting tests there. The device allows testing 20 people within an hour. And the third one is a device that we will have, a large automatic diagnostic system. It will open the way for conducting over 5,000 tests daily. This machine will be delivered in four weeks already. It will appear in Russia, and we will also promote it to international markets," Dmitriev said.
RDIF and Japan's Mirai Genomics are working on a new diagnostic system for detecting the coronavirus, which can be used both at static laboratories and at unique portable mini-laboratories. The system is using the SmartAmp method, enabling express diagnostics within up to 30 minutes.
Apart from that, RDIF Supervisory Board approved on Thursday creation of a joint venture with Russia's KhimRar high-tech pharmaceutical group for producing Favipiravir antiviral drug — which is efficient against the coronavirus, according to Chinese experts — and other innovative antiviral drugs.
“We work with leading funds, investors, and companies from 17 countries - this has played a key role in the fact that we were one of the first to receive significant information about what is happening with the coronavirus epidemic in China. We were the first to bring the BGI Chinese tests to Russia, and pass them to Rospotrebnadzor and the Federal Biomedical Agency (FMBA). So that our colleagues can compare the tests that are developed in Russia with what China is doing,” Dmitriev said.
According to Dmitriev, there is no doubt that the coronavirus will be defeated, and Russia will play one of the key roles in the fight against the pandemic.
At the same time, he stressed that international experience was extremely important for analysing the existing problem:
“We are also pleased that we, together with Rossiya Segodnya, with the leading role of Dmitry Kiselyov, have published books about the best practices of the Chinese hospital for the fight against coronavirus,” Kirill Dmitriev said. “We will pass this test and learn from it the appropriate lessons. The world will certainly be more prepared for similar trials in the future”.
Russian Direct Investment Fund, Riyadh Agree on Investment Independence From Energy Market
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) continues its cooperation with Saudi Arabia, and they have agreed that investment projects implementation should not depend on the situation around energy carriers, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said.
"We continue contact, we continue working on all projects, and we hope that compromise is possible at some stage. We have agreed with Saudi partners that investment projects do not depend on the situation around energy carriers," Dmitriev said, when asked to comment on cooperation with Saudi Arabia among differences on the OPEC+ oil production cuts deal.
On 6 March, OPEC+ failed to agree either on deal extension or on changing its parameters, with Saudi Arabia calling for deeper cuts and Russia offering to extend the deal at current levels. As a result of the deal failure, global energy markets are highly volatile, with just several days left before the restrictions on oil production will be lifted on 1 April.