Indian envoy to Russia DB Venkatesh Varma on Saturday said that Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V will be locally produced in India starting August.
Varma said that 850 million doses of Sputnik V vaccines will be produced in India by about September-October. “The present plan is that over 850 million doses of the Sputnik vaccine will finally be produced in India. Almost 65-70% of Sputnik produced anywhere in the world will be from India,” Varma said.
The present plan is that over 850 million doses of the Sputnik vaccine will finally be produced in India. Almost 65-70% of Sputnik produced anywhere in the world will be from India, finally: D Bala Venkatesh Verma, Indian Ambassador to Russia, in St Petersburg #COVID19— ANI (@ANI) May 22, 2021
The Indian envoy said 210,000 doses of Sputnik have already been supplied to India so far and by May end, 3 million doses will be supplied in bulk. Those vaccines will be filled in India, he added. Subsequently, the capacity will be increased to 5 million in June and production of the vaccines will start in India in August.
Varma further elaborated on how Sputnik will be produced in 3 phases in India. The first one is the direct supply from Russia, which has already started. The second includes Russia sending vaccines procured through the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) in bulk to India, which will be ready for use but will have to be filled in various bottles in India.
The third phase entails local manufacturing of vaccines in India. “Russian side will transfer the technology to Indian company & the Indian company will produce it fully in India. All these 3 put together will be about 850 million doses,” Varma added.
India is also in touch with the Russian authorities for the treatment of the Black Fungus. Indian envoy Venkatesh Varma said the Indian government has asked the Russian officials if they can supply some medicines related to the treatment of the illness.
Besides, the single dose ‘Sputnik Lite’ COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available in India.
Russia has asked India to provide it with the samples of the B.1.617 COVID-19 virus variant prevalent in the country, and New Delhi is currently working on it.
On being asked when can India expect the delivery of Russia’s S400 Missile system, the Indian envoy said that the system will be delivered in the last quarter of this year.
India has inked a contract for the deal during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit in 2018. Currently, the Indian military personnel are being trained in Russia to operate the missile defence system.