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India will receive first batch of Russian Covid-19 vaccine on May 1: RDIF | India News


MOSCOW: India will receive a first batch of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 on May 1, the head of Russia’s Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, told Reuters on Monday.
He did not say how many vaccines would be in the first batch or where they would be manufactured.
India, in the grip of a second wave of the pandemic, is struggling to cope with rising coronavirus infections that overwhelm hospitals, and countries like Britain, Germany and the United States have pledged to send urgent medical aid.
“The first doses will be delivered on May 1,” Dmitriev said, adding that he hopes Russian supplies will help India emerge from the pandemic in time.
Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund, which markets Sputnik V globally, has already signed deals with five leading Indian manufacturers for more than 850 million doses of the vaccine a year.
The RDIF has said that it expects production of the vaccine in India to reach 50 million doses a month by the summer and increase further.
The head of the World Health Organization described the situation in the world’s second most populous country as “more than heartbreaking” as WHO planned to provide additional personnel and supplies, including oxygen concentrating devices.
Russian pharmaceutical firm Pharmasyntez said on Monday it was ready to ship up to 1 million packages of the antiviral drug remdesivir to India by the end of May, once it has received approval from the Russian government.

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