Russia has nothing to hide about Sputnik V, says envoy

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 14) - Despite widespread skepticism that greeted the COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik-V, Moscow's envoy to Manila assured that Russia has nothing to hide about the “world’s first” coronavirus treatment.

Russian ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev said Moscow will provide all the necessary details to the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration regarding the potential cure.

“Yes, of course, all these data are available, definitely. So we have nothing to hide,” he told CNN Philippines.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced earlier this week the approval of Sputnik-V amid concerns that Moscow might have cut essential corners in its development.

Putin claimed that one of his daughters have taken it and felt well afterwards. However, the announcement of its approval came even before Phase 3 trial has begun.

Khovaev said that all necessary trials will be conducted.

“We Russians are responsible people," he said. "We don’t like risky undertakings...That’s why we proposed clinical trials.”

Although only results from Phase 1 and 2 trials on Sputnik V were presented by Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, around 1,000 Filipinos will join the Russia-funded Phase 3 trial in October.

No competition vs. virus

Meanwhile, Khovaev said there should be no competition on the production of vaccine among nations.

“This subject should not be politicized for any reason, it’s high-time to combine our efforts, not to be involved in any kind of race or unfair competition,” he said.

A report by CNN said that Russian officials have offered to cooperate with the United States government in the development of COVID-19 vaccine. However, the Russian medical service did not pique any interest among U.S. officials, the report said.

“From the very beginning, we proposed combining efforts, intellectual and technological capabilities in developing the vaccine, efficient and safe," said Khovaev. "Unfortunately, the response was no."

He added, “No country, big or small, was able to defeat it (virus). The common enemy can only be defeated through joint efforts.”

There are now over 20 million COVID-19 infections around the world, with 760,000 deaths, and more than 13 million recoveries, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Russia has the fourth highest number of infections with more than 900,000 confirmed cases and over 15,000 deaths.

The Philippines has recorded more than 153,000 cases as of Friday, with some 2,400 deaths, and 71,000 recoveries.