On December 30, the Kremlin website reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin had sent greetings to foreign leaders and heads of international organizations on the occasion of Christmas and New Year.
Russian President sends greetings to foreign leaders on the occasion of the New Year
According to the Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Moscow, President Putin sent New Year’s greetings to French President Emmanuel Macron, emphasizing that 2020 is not an easy year and has many challenges, from terrorist attacks to COVID-19 pandemic of acute respiratory infections.
In his greetings to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin noted the fact that relations between the two countries are very important for both peoples and are of great importance for stability and security in continental Europe. .
In New Year’s greetings to Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide, President Putin reaffirmed his commitment to constructive dialogue.
The Russian head of state also congratulated Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, incumbent US President Donald Trump and US President-elect Joe Biden.
The list of leaders who received New Year’s greetings from the Russian leader also included Armenian President Armen Sarkissian and his country’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Syrian President Bashar al- Assad, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In addition, the Russian President also congratulated Moldovan President Maya Sandu, Serbian President Alexander Vucic, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko…
2020 is not the first time that the world has faced a pandemic on holiday. In December 1918, preparations for the first Christmas season after the war took place amid a terrible outbreak of the Spanish flu.
The 1918-1919 flu pandemic also occurred in waves like the COVID-19 epidemic. The deadliest outbreak begins in the fall, peaks in late November, and lasts through the first weeks of December. The flu has spread to hundreds of millions of people and caused tens of millions of deaths worldwide. world. In particular, the UK has had up to a quarter of the population infected with the flu with 225,000 deaths, most of which are before Christmas.
Although both are respiratory diseases with the ability to spread in waves, efforts to control the Spanish flu pandemic and the COVID-19 epidemic have many differences. While on December 19, the British Government ordered a blockade of the capital London and the southeast region of this country because of a new variant of the Corona virus spreading at a rapid rate. In 1918, British people still celebrated Christmas and other holidays without facing the strict restrictions as they are now.
According to The Guardian (UK), Britain’s experience in dealing with the 1918 pandemic is closely related to World War I. At that time, public health officials, the military and the government encouraged people to People should continue to face the pandemic that is escalating and getting worse.
Britain’s chief medical officer, Arthur Newsholme, issued its first official memo in October, recommending a range of measures to control the flu outbreak, including isolating the sick and closing schools. and movie theaters, gargle with antiseptic water and warn against mass gatherings. Wearing a mask is not among these recommendations. Moreover, no measures are mandatory and the responsibility for epidemic prevention also rests with local authorities.
Health officials and local governments have taken preventive measures in different approaches. In London, only a few cinemas and schools had to close. Meanwhile, in the city of Manchester, Dr James Niven developed a drastic epidemic prevention plan and seems to have helped control the epidemic better.
There are a number of reasons why measures have not been systematically applied. First of all, medical experts at that time did not yet clarify information about the pandemic, including who was most affected, the nature and severity of symptoms, and how the virus worked. How the flu is different from what is known about the flu.
In addition, people’s awareness is also a very important factor. Many people see this flu as just a slightly worse illness than usual. It is also difficult for people who have experienced four years of war to accept or adhere to strict control measures.
A second wave of epidemics that peaked after the end of World War I does not seem to have been a coincidence. As thousands of people ignored public health advice and gathered to celebrate in squares, streets, pubs, homes, churches across the country. Many soldiers returning from the battlefield brought the pathogen to Britain, India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and many other places.
As the epidemic continued into early December, hospitals in the UK were overwhelmed. Most of these centers were understaffed because at least half of Britain’s nurses and doctors had been dispatched to serve the war. The few remaining health care workers can only do nursing or palliative care.
Furthermore, at that time, there was no effective treatment for influenza or its associated fatal complications. Although sick people are advised to seek medical help, most people with the flu struggle and many have died at home while being cared for by loved ones. Some places even had to temporarily stop burying bodies because of a lack of coffins.
By early December, more and more schools closed to prevent infection for teachers and students. As it stands now, students are seen as agents of infectious disease, and school closures are seen as a necessary but controversial measure.
William Hamer, London’s chief medical officer, opposed school closures on the grounds that “such action simply gives children the freedom to congregate in places where there is a higher risk of infection”.
However, at the beginning of December, Manchester still decided to close all primary schools until the new year. And this measure has become a double-edged sword. Most of the children who had been absent from school had gathered to play in the local street or park, just as Mr. Hamer feared.
Due to the double crisis of the pandemic and the aftermath of the war, the Christmas season of 1918 became unusual.
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