The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund), has announced that newly founded VisCoran İlaç will produce Russian Sputnik V vaccine in Turkey with local partners.
The production will start in the upcoming months at several facilities, the company said, one day after Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that Sputnik V will be practiced in Turkey.
“In addition to production agreements, licensing processes as well as storage and distribution matters, the execution of some clinical studies on the product is also part of our cooperation with Russia for the Sputnik V vaccine. Our studies on this matter continue very successfully as well. We are very pleased to have contributed to such a valuable product that is discussed in the international arena”, said VisCoran İlaç chair Öztürk Oran.
However, Turkish main opposition Republican People’s Party lawmaker Murat Emir claimed that the deal was a show and the vaccine would not be produced in Turkey but would be imported.
Efficacy of Sputnik V
According to the company, “The efficacy of Sputnik V is 97.6% based on the analysis of data on the coronavirus infection rate among those in Russia vaccinated with both components of Sputnik V from December 5, 2020 to March 31.”
A study published in the British Lancet magazine also has confirmed the efficacy of the Russian vaccine at 92 percent.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar, visited Turkish President Erdoğan on April 26, one day before the start of the U.N.-led unofficial Cyprus conference in Geneva. Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu attended the meeting behind closed doors.
Earlier in the day, the U.K.’s Sunday Express claimed that some British lawmakers were discussing recognizing Turkish Cyprus as a sovereign country. Along with Turkey and Greece, the U.K. is a guarantor country in the Cyprus talks.
Cabinet discusses new pandemic measures
After meeting with Tatar, Erdoğan attended a cabinet meeting to discuss new measures against the Covid-19 pandemic. Reuters said in a report, citing a Turkish official that a total lockdown was on the agenda in the face of virus spread.
Kobani case starts with tensions
Meanwhile, the case into 2014 violence in Turkey’s southeast, known as the “Kobani case,” began in Ankara on April 26.
Former co-chairs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), arrested Sehalattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, and other party executives are among the 108 suspects in the case.
The first hearing of the case at the Ankara 22nd Heavy Penal Code began with tensions between the HDP lawyers and the court, with the judge trying to take some of the lawyers out of the courtroom, arguing that they were too crowded for the pandemic conditions.
Demirtaş, who attended the hearing through SEGBİS, the video system, said the third largest party of the country was before the judge. The HDP names the case against its members a “conspiracy.”
Demirtaş showed through the video a paper reading “Where is the $128 billion,” a recent motto of the opposition, asking the government about the Central Bank money spent to end the greenback’s spree against the lira until last year.