'I believe in Putin': Football legend Maradona backs Russian president to deliver Covid-19 vaccine
World Cup winner Diego Maradona says that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is 'no longer tolerable' as he backs Russian President Vladimir Putin to successfully deliver a vaccine for the virus which has affected millions of people.
Maradona made the comments after he was forced to enter a period of self-isolation after a bodyguard of his tested positive for the potentially disease and says that the toll of the virus has been a large one throughout Latin America.
"I have never seen anything like this before, and Latin America was affected much worse," Maradona said of the virus.
"I wish this all ends soon. So many people were affected, many were left jobless and do not know how to make a living."Also on rt.com Russia applies to WHO for emergency listing of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, approval would speed up formula's global distribution
Health experts suggest that the virus can only be fully brought under control once a successful vaccine is mass-produced and made accessible.
Trials are currently ongoing for several vaccine candidates and Maradona says that he has full faith in Russia - and specifically Putin - to safely and effectively deliver one.
"I believe in Putin," Maradona added. "I am convinced that he will soon have a vaccine because [the pandemic] is no longer tolerable."
Earlier this month, Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), noted that the agency was has engaged in discussions with Argentina and Peru regarding supplies of the Sputnik V vaccine ahead of clinical trials which are expected to begin in December. Similar deals have also been made with Brazil and Mexico.Also on rt.com Drugs, prostitutes & the Hand of God: Looking back at Diego Maradona’s 6 maddest moments as Argentina legend turns 60
The RDIF and their partners are also conducting similar trials in Belarus, India, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
In August, Sputnik V - developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute - became the world's first officially registered Covid-19 vaccine and is currently in phase three of clinical trials.