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Russian PM says Moscow has four potential Covid-19 vaccines proven to be safe, insists healthcare system can handle second wave

Russian PM says Moscow has four potential Covid-19 vaccines proven to be safe, insists healthcare system can handle second wave
Four Russian vaccines which may combat coronavirus have been proven to be safe, with some tests already at their final stage, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told parliament on Wednesday.

Mishustin told MPs that Russia's health system is prepared for a rise in cases this fall. He explained that the government had provided an investment boost to national healthcare in response to the Covid-19 outbreak and now it has enough resilience to withstand a possible second wave.

“Four vaccines today have proven to be safe, according to Rospotrebnadzor [Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing]."

The prime minister stressed that 17 scientific and research institutions in the country were developing the vaccine today, including the Ministry of Education and Science, the Health Ministry, the Federal Medical-Biological Agency and the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing. “There are more than 26 types of the vaccine,” Mishustin said.

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When asked if the country’s healthcare system was prepared for a possible resurgence of Covid-19 come autumn, the PM remarked that “it is ready and has backup reserves.”

The country’s defense ministry mobilized its engineers and helped build 16 new infection hospitals, including in parts of the country that had shortages of beds, Mishustin added. The construction projects took two months on average, leaving Russia with enough capacity in reserve to treat up to 60,000 additional Covid-19 patients.

Mishustin attended the parliament session on Wednesday to give a regular report on his government’s performance to lawmakers. The presentation was initially scheduled to take place in mid-April, but the Covid-19 pandemic put a wrench in the plans and forced a delay.

As of Wednesday, Russia has almost 790,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases, of which some 205,000 currently have the virus. A total of 12,745 lives have been claimed by the disease so far, according to national statistics. The government attributes the large number of reported cases compared with the relatively low death rate to the extensive testing program rolled out in Russia since the start of the outbreak.

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