Russia has confirmed 4,736,121 cases of coronavirus and 107,103 deaths, according to the national coronavirus information center. Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is above 422,000.
April 22: What you need to know today
- Russia on Thursday confirmed 8,996 new coronavirus cases and 397 deaths.
- Egyptian firm Minapharm announced Thursday it will produce 40 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for “global distribution,” marking the first partnership for the production of Sputnik V in the Middle East and North Africa. Rollout of the vaccine is expected later this year, Minapharm said in a joint statement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
- Germany is in talks with Russia to buy 30 million doses of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine once it is approved by the European Medicines Agency, Saxony state premier Michael Kretschmer said on Thursday.
- Moscow will introduce a rewards program for vaccinated residents over 60 years old in a bid to boost the city’s vaccination drive, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Tuesday, warning that the city’s coronavirus situation is worsening. Vaccinated residents in this age group will be eligible for discounts at regional retailers and pharmacies.
- Russian epidemiologists have detected two mutated strains of the coronavirus within the country but said they aren’t necessarily deadlier or more contagious, state-run Interfax reported Monday, citing Rospotrebnazor head Anna Popova.
— The developer of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine said Wednesday its jab did not cause blood clots, a potential side effect that has disrupted rollouts in several Western countries.
— Starting April 15, Russians returning to the country by any means of transport will be required to submit a negative Covid-19 test to the authorities within three days after arriving, state consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor announced. Previously, only those arriving by air were required to submit negative test results.
— Serbia will launch production of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in six to ten months, Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported Thursday, citing Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic.
— 820,000 residents of Moscow, or 6 percent of the capital’s total population, have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine since the start of the mass vaccination campaign in December last year, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Thursday. Another 1 million have had the first vaccine dose.
— Moscow on Wednesday announced the start of production of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in Serbia, the first European country outside Russia and Belarus to begin manufacturing the jab.
— France’s southeastern Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region requested a pre-order of 500,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, France’s RTL radio broadcaster reported Wednesday, citing regional president Renaud Muselier. The region will receive the order once the jab is approved by European regulators.
— Drug Controller General of India has authorized Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the jab’s developer confirmed late on Monday. India is the 60th country that has approved Russia’s vaccine.
— Moscow authorities will offer an at-home vaccination option for residents with reduced mobility starting April 13, Interfax reported Tuesday. At least 120,000 people are expected to receive the vaccine through the initiative delivered by 66 mobile teams of social workers.
— Russia will restrict flights to and from Turkey and Tanzania from April 15 until June 1 because of rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in both countries, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said Monday.
— An expert panel from India’s central drug authority has recommended granting emergency approval to Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, India’s The Economist Times business daily reported Monday. The newspaper had initially reported that India already granted emergency authorization to Sputnik V.
— Lenin’s mausoleum and the Kremlin wall necropolis will reopen to visitors on April 17, exactly five months after being shut down by the authorities in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Interfax reported Monday.
— Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya Institute, has confirmed that Sputnik V is less effective against the South African variant of the virus, but claimed that the Russian-made jab still offers better protection against virus mutations than its rivals.
— The German government plans to talk to Moscow about buying doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine if it is approved by the European regulator, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Thursday.
— Sputnik V’s official Twitter account on Thursday accused the Slovak Drug agency SUKL of a “disinformation campaign” against the Russian vaccine after the watchdog said the vaccines the country received differed from those reviewed by the European Medicines Agency and the medical journal The Lancet.
— Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine appears significantly less effective in combating the South African variant of the virus, a new laboratory study of 12 cases has shown.
— Germany’s Bavaria region has signed a provisional agreement to buy around 2.5 million doses of Russia‘s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine once it is approved by European regulators, state premier Markus Soeder said Wednesday.
— The European Medicines Agency will investigate whether the developers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine went against global ethical and scientific standards in clinical trials, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.
— Russian officials are believed to have been purposefully delaying approval of China’s CanSino Biologics Inc.’s coronavirus vaccine, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The approval of the only foreign jab currently tested in Russia is delayed amid the authorities’ efforts to prioritize home-grown vaccines, unnamed sources confirmed to Bloomberg.
— Russia recorded almost 30,000 excess deaths during February, the country’s statistics agency announced Friday a figure which takes Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the coronavirus pandemic above 422,000.
— The developers of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine said Friday that they have come up with technology that “updates” the jab to protect against new, more-contagious strains of the virus.
— Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday has upheld the country’s nationwide mask mandate.
— Russia has approved what it says is the world’s first coronavirus vaccine for pets, the state veterinary service said Wednesday.
— Austria said it was negotiating with Russia over the possible purchase of 1 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine — which has yet to be approved by EU regulators.
— The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has pre-ordered Sputnik V to vaccinate the city’s residents despite France and the EU not authorizing it yet, French broadcaster BFMTV reported.
— Russia’s Health Ministry has approved Sputnik Light, the single-shot version of the country’s Sputnik V vaccine, the state-run TASS news agency reported.
— Russia has agreed to a deal for more than 60 million doses of its Sputnik V vaccine to be produced in China from May, the jab’s developer said.
— Russia has introduced its third registered coronavirus vaccine, CoviVak, for general use, Interfax reported. The two-dose, whole-virion vaccine uses complete, but inactive, particles of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19.
— Russia will resume flights with Germany, Venezuela, Syria, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka starting April 1, Russia’s coronavirus response center announced. Also starting that day, Russia will increase its number of flights with Cuba, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt and the UAE.
— Vietnam has approved Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, its health ministry announced Tuesday. A thousand doses of Sputnik V, given to Hanoi as a gift from Russia, are already in the country but it is unclear if or when more doses would arrive.
— The Leningrad region of Russia is facing shortages of Sputnik V vaccine with just 975 doses available, the St. Petersburg-based 47news.ru news website reported Monday, citing the regional health committee.
— The Russian Direct Investment Fund had signed an agreement with an India-based pharmaceuticals giant Virchow Group for the production of up to 200 million doses of Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine a year.
— Foreign university students from 25 countries, including Switzerland, Greece, Japan and South Korea, will be allowed to return to Russia for their studies, according to a government decree issued Saturday. Returning students must notify their universities by email 10 days ahead of arrival and submit two coronavirus tests 72 hours before and after landing in Russia.
— Germany will order Russia‘s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine if it is authorized for use in the European Union, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday, adding that Berlin could secure supplies on its own if the bloc would not.
— The developer of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine said Friday its shot had been approved for use in the Philippines, becoming the 52nd country to give the green light to the Russian jab.
— Cyprus will lift its quarantine requirement for Russian travelers from April 1, the Association of Tour Operators Russia (ATOR) announced Friday. Russian tourists will be required to present two negative Covid-19 tests — taken before departure and on arrival — to enter the country.
— Russia has extended its suspension of flights with Britain until April 16, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday.
— Russia has accused the United States of targeting its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine by pressuring Brazil to reject it, the jab’s developer said Monday.
— A more contagious strain of the coronavirus first discovered in South Africa has been detected in Russia, the country’s health authorities said Tuesday. Two people have been found to have the variant out of over 8,000 tests.
— European Union officials are considering launching negotiations to purchase Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Reuters reported Monday, citing EU diplomatic and official sources.
— Sputnik V developers announced Monday that they had reached production agreements in key European countries, including Italy, Spain, France and Germany.
— Azerbaijan and Namibia have authorized Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, putting the total number of countries that have approved Russia’s jab at 51.
— Morocco and Kenya have authorized Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, The Russian Direct Investment Fund announced Wednesday.
— Russia is demanding a public apology from the European Medicines Agency for comparing its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to “Russian roulette.” The agency’s management board chairwoman made the errant remark Monday while advising EU members against emergency use authorization of Sputnik V.
— Tunisia on Tuesday received a shipment of 30,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.
— Russia has secured an agreement to produce its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in Italy, marking the first such deal for producing the vaccine in Europe, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
—Russia recorded more than 55,000 excess deaths in January, data from the country’s official statistics agency (Rosstat) published Friday showed. Russia’s excess death toll since the start of the pandemic now stands at more than 394,000.
— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin ended mandatory stay-at-home orders for over-65s and people with chronic illnesses Friday, lifting one of the Russian capital’s last remaining coronavirus restrictions.
— The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said Thursday it had begun a “rolling review” of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.The regulator will analyze the existing published data on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness and decide if there is enough information for Russia to apply for authorization.
— More than 2 million Russians have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine, President Vladimir Putin announced Thursday. Another 2 million have had the first vaccine dose.
— Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine has been authorized in Iraq, Laos and Sri Lanka, The Russian Direct Investment Fund announced Thursday.
— Health authorities in Angola, Congo and Djibouti have authorized Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, its developers confirmed Wednesday.
— Slovakia on Monday received its first shipment of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines.
— The hard-hit Czech Republic has requested a delivery of Russia’s vaccines in response to the delayed arrival of EU-procured jabs.
— Around 4 million Russians have been vaccinated against the coronavirus so far, state-run TASS news agency reported Friday citing Russia’s Health Ministry representative.
— Guatemala became the latest country to authorize Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the jab’s developers announced Thursday.
— The Egyptian Drug Authority gave emergency authorization to Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the jab’s developers confirmed Wednesday.
— Georgia will be open to Russian tourists from March 1, Russia’s TASS news agency reported Wednesday citing Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. All tourists arriving in Georgia will be required to present a negative coronavirus test result or vaccination certificate.
— Kyrgyzstan has registered Sputnik V, the country’s health ministry said Tuesday.
— Syria has authorized the use of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, its embassy in Moscow said Monday.
— Montenegro started using Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in its coronavirus vaccination drive, Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported Sunday.
— Russia started administering the coronavirus vaccine to the homeless on Sunday. At least 40 people housed by Russia’s Nochlezhka non-governmental organization in St. Petersburg have already received the jab.
— Ghana’s Ministry of Health has authorized Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, The Russian Direct Investment Fund announced Saturday.
— Moscow announced it had registered its third vaccine against the coronavirus and promised to introduce the jab to the Russian population by March.
— San Marino became the latest country to authorize Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the shot’s developers announced Friday.
— 1,000 Sputnik V vaccine doses donated by Russia will be delivered to Gaza Strip on Wednesday, Israel’s defense ministry told AFP. The doses will be administered to frontline healthcare workers.
— Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine has been certified and approved for mass use in Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan’s state coronavirus commission announced Wednesday.
— Foreign students in Russia will be allowed to return for the spring semester if they fly from countries that have resumed flights with Russia, Russia’s consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said Tuesday. All returning students will be required to show two negative coronavirus tests.
— Kazakhstan’s Karaganda Pharmaceutical Complex received government authorization to make Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the company announced Tuesday. Kazakhstan will be the first country in the world to locally produce Russia’s Sputnik V jab.
— Russia has extended its suspension of flights with Britain through March 16.
— Muslim Spiritual Board of Russia’s republic of Tatarstan announced Tuesday that Muslims are allowed to get vaccinated against the coronavirus “regardless of components” used in the jab.
— Russia has given preliminary approval for its Covid-19 Sputnik V vaccine to be manufactured in Serbia, a minister said on Friday.
— Health workers in Bosnia received the first dose of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Reuters reported Friday.
— Montenegro, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Kazakhstan have authorized Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the shot’s developers announced Friday. Russia’s coronavirus jab has been approved by a total of 27 countries.
— Hungary started using Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in its coronavirus vaccination drive, Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported Thursday citing Hungarian Minister Gergely Gulyas.
— Head of republic of Udmurtia has reversed an earlier decision to lift the mask-requirement in the region, according to a decree published on a government website Thursday.
— Bahrain’s National Health Regulatory Authority gave emergency authorization to Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, The Russian Direct Investment Fund confirmed Wednesday.
— The republic of Chechnya has lifted the requirement to wear face masks in public places, its head Ramzan Kadyrov said Wednesday. All restrictions on inbound travel to the region have been lifted as well.
— The republic of Udmurtia in Russia’s Central Volga District will lift the mask-wearing requirement from Feb. 12, Governor Alexandr Brechalov announced Tuesday.
— Russia recorded a 19.6% year-on-year increase in deaths last year, figures published by the federal statistics service showed Monday. Excess deaths since the start of the pandemic stood at 337,000 by the end of December.
— Pakistan’s Drug Regulatory Authority has authorized Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, The Russian Direct Investment Fund announced Tuesday. A total of 22 countries have already registered Russia’s jab.
— The European Union has approved Russia’s application to register its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in the bloc, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday.
— Human trials of a coronavirus vaccine combining Russia’s Sputnik V jab and a shot developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University will begin in Azerbaijan later this month, The Russian Direct Investment Fun announced Tuesday. The clinical trial is expected to take up to six months and will be carried out across five other countries, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
— Restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus in Russia will remain in place until the number of vaccinated residents surpasses 68.6 million people, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said Monday.
— The Ukrainian government Monday has passed a resolution banning the registration of coronavirus vaccines produced by Russia.
— Hungarian health authorities have approved Russia’s coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, the government said Sunday.
— Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Sunday he was open to Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine or Chinese alternatives being produced in his country, if they are authorized in the European Union.
— All university students in Moscow will return to in-person classes starting Feb. 8, according to a Moscow Mayor’s Office decree cited by Interfax Friday.
— Nicaragua has registered Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, The Russian Direct Investment Fund announced Wednesday. A total of six Latin American states have approved the use of Russia’s jab.
— Russia will resume flights with Armenia and Azerbaijan starting Feb. 15, according to a government decree issued Wednesday. Train connections to and from Belarussian capital Minsk will resume from Feb. 8.
— Mexico’s Cofepris regulatory agency gave emergency authorization to Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Mexico’s deputy health minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell announced Tuesday.
— Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6% effective against symptomatic Covid-19, according to final-stage clinical trials results published in the medical journal The Lancet on Tuesday.
— Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev got vaccinated against the coronavirus two months ago, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency quoted Medvedev as saying. Russia’s former Prime Minister did not disclose which Russian vaccine he has received “as not to make it seem that one of the vaccines is better than others.”
— Russia has extended its suspension of flights with Britain through Feb. 16, the RBC news website reported Monday, citing Russia’s coronavirus response center.
— Iran will receive the first batch of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine on Feb. 4, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported Saturday citing Iran’s ambassador to Russia. Two more batches of the vaccine are to be delivered by Feb. 18 and 28.
— More than half of Moscow’s 12 million residents have been infected with the coronavirus, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Friday in an interview with the Rossiya-1 television channel. The number was based on city hall “analysis and research,” he added. It would be more than six times the 925,000 official cases registered in the capital since the start of the pandemic. He added that less than 1% of recorded cases were reinfections.
— All Russian universities will be allowed to resume in-person classes starting Feb. 8, according to the decree issued by Russia’s Ministry of Science and Higher Education Friday.
— Russia resumed flights with Finland, India, Qatar and Vietnam on Jan. 27 and will resume flights with Greece and Singapore from Feb. 8, the state-run Interfax news agency reported Thursday.
— Moscow has lifted some measures aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus as cases continued to recede over the past week, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Wednesday. The measures include the requirement for 30% of all businesses’ employees to work remotely and restaurant curfews.
— Russian authorities on Tuesday said mass production of its second coronavirus vaccine would begin next month and that a third homemade jab is currently in registration.
— The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) will supply Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to Malaysia, the state-run TASS news agency reported Tuesday citing Russian ambassador to Malaysia Nail Latypov.
— Iranian health regulators have approved Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for domestic use, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced Tuesday. Iran is yet to secure a deal to buy or domestically produce Russia’s jab.
— Mexico agreed on Monday to acquire 24 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said after talking with President Vladimir Putin by telephone.
—Moscow’s museums, exhibitions, libraries and cultural centers re-opened to visitors, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced. New regulations also allow for cinemas, theaters and concert halls to fill up to 50% of seats.
— Hungary said on Friday it had reached a deal to buy large quantities of Russia’s Sputnik V virus vaccine, even though it has not been approved by the European Union.
— The UAE’s Health Ministry has given emergency authorization to Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the shot’s developers confirmed Thursday. The UAE is the first Middle East nation to use Russia’s jab in a mass vaccination drive.
— Hungary’s National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYÉI) gave a six-month authorization to Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, OGYÉI director-general Mátyás Szentiványi announced Wednesday. Hungary is set to become the first EU member to use Sputnik V for large-scale inoculation.
— The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has applied for authorization of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in the European Union, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Wednesday. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has concluded a scientific opinion procedure for the vaccine developers on Jan. 19 and is due to begin the formal approval process in February.
— The republic of Bashkortostan is set to become the first region to introduce immunity passports for residents with Covid-19 antibodies starting February, Bashkortostan Governor Radiy Khabirov announced Monday.
— Turkmenistan became the first Central Asian republic to register Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the Russian Direct Investment Fund announced Monday.
— Brazil’s state health regulator refuted emergency registration of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine citing questionable phase three trial data results and manufacturing issues, Reuters reported Sunday.
— Russia’s Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona coronavirus vaccines are not available or in short supply in 42 of the country’s regions, a report from the Peterburgskaya Politica think tank suggests. Health care experts interviewed by The Moscow Times named transportation and production problems among the key logistical issues impeding Russia’s mass vaccination campaign.
— Bolivian President Luis Arce will take the Russian Sputnik V vaccine as the country plans to immunize 2.6 million people with the Russian-developed vaccine, Reuters reported.
— Russia could be overstating its national vaccination tally by as much as five fold, figures analyzed by independent statisticians and The Moscow Times suggest.
— 60% of Russians are unwilling to take the coronavirus vaccine compared with 40% willing to vaccinate, according to a survey by The Superjob.ru job board cited by the RBC news website
— Life in the Russian capital could return to normal by May, as long as people get vaccinated, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Thursday. Moscow has vaccinated around 140,000 so far, he added.
— Private clinics in Russia won’t be allowed to administer paid vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine prior to its official registration in the country, representative of Russia’s health watchdog Roszdravnadzor told state-run Interfax agency Thursday. The ban covers clinics operating under a special legal regime, including the Skolkovo medical network.
— Moscow has extended restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus until Jan. 21, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Thursday. All Moscow schoolchildren will be able to return to in-person classes next Monday.
— President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday tasked officials with launching mass coronavirus vaccinations from next week, touting Russia’s homemade jab as the world’s best.
— Maxut Shadaev, Russia’s minister of digital development, communications and mass media, has the coronavirus, making him the latest cabinet member to catch the virus, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko said.
— Russia has extended its suspension of flights with Britain through Feb. 1 due to Britain’s surge in new infections linked to a new strain of Covid-19 believed to be more infectious.
— A private Moscow clinic is in “direct negotiations” to bring the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to Russia before it receives official registration, a clinic representative told The Moscow Times on Tuesday, with first deliveries arriving as early as February.
— Russia’s cosmonaut training center said it has begun vaccinating employees against the coronavirus ahead of future space missions. The press service of the Yuri Gagarin Training Center told AFP that around 40 of its nearly 1,500 employees had received the first dose of Russia’s homemade coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, including the next two Russian cosmonauts scheduled to launch in April.
— Russia announced Monday that 1.5 million people around the world had received its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine but did not offer a breakdown of where the jab was distributed.
— St. Petersburg’s museums and the Leningrad Zoo will reopen Monday after being ordered to close for 12 days over the New Year holiday due to rising coronavirus infections. Exhibitions and concerts as well as tourist bus trips will also be permitted to resume.
— Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed by phone the potential for joint production of a coronavirus vaccine, the Kremlin said.
— Serbia is expected to begin administering 2,400 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine over the course of the week starting Jan. 5, Serbian health officials said according to TASS.
AFP contributed reporting.