Late April, Russia delivered more than 20 tons of life-saving equipment and medicines, including oxygen concentrators, lung ventilation machines and medical monitors, Kudashev said, adding, “As a close partner and friend of India, Russia will always be there to help. For that purpose, we maintain constant contact with our partners and are ready to provide further assistance, which may be expected any time soon. In 2020, when the pandemic just erupted, India also supplied a huge part of vital medicines to Russia on exceptional basis.”
Besides medical assistance, Sputnik V vaccines are now being administered in India and there are plans to introduce Sputnik Light in India soon. Kudashev mentioned that the “Sputnik V” two dose vaccine has very high efficacy at 97.6% and is based on technologies and platforms that have been used for decades. The database shows that there are no registered cases of blood clotting and thrombosis, and it is declared that it is also effective against the new strains of Covid-19, Kudashev said, adding Sputnik Light will also be produced in India.
Sputnik Light is designed to facilitate the challenge of immunizing large groups in a shorter time helping to achieve herd immunity faster, according to the envoy. Sputnik Light characteristics simplify the storage and logistics issues, Kudashev said, adding that both sides have also started discussion on other Russian brands, including EpiVac-Corona. “The authorized Russian Direct Investment Fund, and personally its CEO Kirill Dmitriev, are very dedicated to further promote partnerships with the Indian companies for this purpose.
As far is production is concerned, it is expected to start in coming weeks and will gradually reach up to 850 mn doses per year. India will become one of the key producers of this vaccine in the world.” The senior diplomat emphasized that health sector cooperation has opened up a new dimension in the Russian-Indian special and privileged strategic partnership and extended “our trusted cooperation to the area of vaccines research and development and advanced scientific dialogue, which currently enables to deal even with new strains of coronavirus.” “We can say that it is some sort of a breakthrough built upon historically high level of mutual goodwill and support, combined with achievements and unequivocal commitments and common interest in the fields of modern technology exchanges and innovations.”
India and Russia are also planning to launch cooperation between their respective experts to handle the pandemic both at bilateral level as well as multilateral level including BRICS, according to the envoy.