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Novel coronavirus can hardly be totally eliminated, says expert

The infection can survive in the environment as well as be transmitted through animals, according to the vaccine developer

MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. It will hardly ever be possible to do away with the novel coronavirus as the infection is transmitted not only from person to person, but through animals as well, Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry, the Sputnik V vaccine developer, said on Tuesday.

"Regrettably, it is impossible in principle to eliminate this virus because this is an infectious disease with natural foci. It is transmitted not only from person to person but is also carried by many animals, both wild and domestic, as we now see, including minks," he said after a meeting with Head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev and Chairman of the Political Council of Ukraine’s Opposition Platform For Life party Viktor Medvedchuk that was aired by the 112 Ukraine television channel.

Gintsburg did not rule out that the novel coronavirus is capable of living in the environment. "So, the only way to deal with it is to make it vaccine-controlled. Later, it [the vaccine] will be put on the national vaccination calendars and the entire population of all countries where, I hope, anti-COVID vaccines will be manufactured and used, <...> will be protected against this virus," he added.

To date, 2,515,009 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 1,981,526 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 44,159 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.