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Kyrgyzstan intends to buy Russia’s Sputnik V jab to immunize 118,000 people

The parties are putting together the necessary paperwork, according to official data

BISHKEK, April 6. /TASS/. Kyrgyzstan has set its sights on purchasing a batch of the Sputnik V coronavirus-fighting jab in Russia sufficient to inoculate 118,000 people, Deputy Minister of Healthcare and Social Development Ulukbek Bekturganov said at a briefing on Tuesday.

"Plans are in store to buy the Sputnik V vaccines in Russia against the coronavirus which can be used to inoculate 118,000 people," he said. According to the deputy minister, currently the parties are putting together the necessary paperwork.

Sputnik V was officially registered in Kyrgyzstan in February. The topic of producing the jab in the republic is being considered. As Kyrgyz Healthcare Minister Alymkadyr Beishenaliev stated on Monday, 215 mln soms (about $2.5 mln) had already been earmarked for the purchase of Sputnik V.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 89,000 coronavirus infections have been detected in Kyrgyzstan with 1,500 fatalities and 85,300 recoveries. On March 19, the Central Asian country received the first 150,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm jab, and an immunization drive was launched on March 29. Kyrgyzstan also hopes to receive 2.6 mln vaccine doses through the COVAX international mechanism. Earlier, an agreement on supplying a shot by the British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca had been reached.

Kyrgyzstan, with its 6.5 mln population, has experienced two outbreaks of the coronavirus disease over the past year. The first one was recorded at the end of last June, when healthcare workers were registering 900-1,600 cases of the infection daily. The second one occurred at the end of last year when the number of new infections amounted to about 300 cases per day. The state of emergency declared in the country in March 2020 still remains in effect. According to the latest data, 644 people in total have been inoculated over the past eight days in the Central Asian republic.