India is set to receive its first doses of Sputnik-V, the Russian-made vaccine against the coronavirus disease, on Saturday as Covid-19 cases and deaths have surged in the country and more than 300,000 new infections have been reported daily for nine days in a row.

Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) which is marketing Sputnik V globally, said earlier this week that the first doses of the vaccine will arrive on Saturday.

“The first doses will be delivered on May 1,” Dmitriev was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters. However, he did not say how many vaccines would be in the first batch or where they would be made. He hoped that the Russian-made vaccine would help India mitigate the crisis spurred by the second wave of Covid-19.

The consignment of the Sputnik-V, which was approved by an expert panel earlier this month, will bolster India’s response to the pandemic as several states have raised the issue of vaccine shortage which has forced them to make alterations to their vaccination plans.

Sputnik-V will soon join India’s vaccination program and it is expected that this will help the country make a comeback in its fight against the pandemic. India on Saturday began vaccinating people aged above 18 years in phase III of its vaccination drive.

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