Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday congratulated the government and people of Russia for successfully controlling the coronavirus outbreak in the country and lauded its scientists for developing a vaccine against the deadly disease. Speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting here on Friday, Singh said, "I congratulate the government and people of Russia for successfully managing the pandemic."
President Vladimir Putin last month announced that Russian scientists had developed the world's first vaccine against COVID-19, Sputnik-V. He said one of his daughters had already been vaccinated with it and that it works "quite effectively" and forms "stable immunity".
"We applaud Russian scientists and health workers for spearheading the Sputnik V vaccine. I wish you all health and success in this time of pandemic!" the minister said.
The Russian government has reached out to India seeking a collaboration for manufacturing its COVID-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ and conducting its phase 3 clinical trial in the country. However, there has been scepticism in some quarters about limited data related to the efficacy of the Russian vaccine.
The coronavirus has claimed 17,598 lives in Russia and the country has over 1 million confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Singh is on a three-day visit to Moscow to attend the meeting of the defence ministers of the eight-member SCO grouping.
On Thursday, he held talks with his Russian counterpart Gen. Sergey Shoigu during which Singh appreciated the “steadfast support” provided by Russia in response to the country’s defence and security needs.
(With PTI inputs)