Russia and Turkey discussed on Friday a joint work on the development of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus and diagnostic products to detect the infection at early stages.

Russian chief sanitary officer Anna Popova and Turkish Deputy Health Minister Emine Alp Mese via videoconference exchanged experience in the fight against COVID-19, the Russian Sanitary Service said in a statement on its website.

“The parties noted that a set of anti-pandemic measures is widely implemented in Russia and Turkey, which makes it possible to prevent the situation from developing in a negative scenario. In both countries, there is a downward trend in the growth rate of new cases of coronavirus infection,” the statement said.

Mese expressed readiness to work together with Russia on the development of COVID-19 vaccines, added the statement, noting that Russian and Turkish scientists and experts will hold consultations to exchange their knowledge on the topic.

The pandemic has claimed more than 335,400 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in China last December. The US and Europe are currently the world’s worst-hit regions.

More than 5.15 million cases have been reported worldwide and 1.98 million people recovered to date, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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