Head of WHO in Russia: COVID Cases in Country Fall by 11% in Two Weeks
11:48 GMT 03.09.2021 (Updated: 12:44 GMT 06.09.2021)
© Sputnik / Konstantin MihalchevskiyA medic wearing face mask and full body protection holds the Gam-COVID-Vak vaccine ahead of inoculation at the city polyclinic No 7, in Simferopol, Crimea, Russia.
© Sputnik / Konstantin Mihalchevskiy/
Strict anti-COVID measures were observed in Vladivostok during the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) which runs from 2 to 4 September. And even though the pandemic was not debated at a separate session, its latest statistics were discussed during a fringe event.
Melita Vujnovic, who is the head of the World Health Organization Office in Russia was invited to the EEF to discuss healthy cities. The WHO receives a daily update on how many COVID-19 cases there are in all member states around the world, so Vujnovic was able to share the latest data from the European region:
"Out of the 53 states belonging to the WHO European Region (of which Russia is also a member) we have seen cases rise over the past two weeks in 28 countries,” said the head of the WHO’s Russian office. “The increased summer mobility and relaxation of public health measures, including lower compliance with measures in place, are believed to be the reasons for the rise, together with the prevalence of the Delta variant which is highly transmissible. However, countries have reported that the Emergency Use Listed (EUL) vaccines are just as effective as before and the situation is being closely monitored by all national authorities and shared with the WHO."
According to Vujnovic, despite the overall increase in 28 European nations, the latest statistics from Russia show an overall reduction in cases.
“As for Russia," she said, "based on these national data we see that over the past two weeks the number of new cases fell by 11 percent. The reproductive number is around 0.96 which indicates a deceleration of the transmission."
© Sputnik / Vitaly Belousov Melita Vujnovic
© Sputnik / Vitaly Belousov/
The Delta variant of the novel coronavirus has been responsible for thousands of new COVID cases worldwide. Part of the problem is that according to recent studies, the effectiveness of some vaccines against infection and symptomatic illness has dropped significantly. Nevertheless, according to Vujnovic, some jabs, such as Pfizer/BioNTech are still effective in preventing hospitalisation and serious illness.
“At the moment, two jabs of the approved vaccines - whether they're WHO-approved or approved by one of the other regulatory agencies - have been shown to provide excellent protection from severe disease and hospitalisation against the Delta variant as well as against other variants of concern. For instance, the Israel study showed that the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine had decreased against infection but still maintains the effectiveness of about 93 percent in preventing serious illness and hospitalisation,” she said.
A recent preprint study by the Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic has demonstrated that the effectiveness of the two major mRNA vaccines which are approved for use in the US – Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna - in preventing infections and symptomatic disease has dropped from 86 percent to 76 percent for Moderna and from 76 percent to 42 percent for Pfizer at a time when the majority of the initial Delta cases were detected in the state.
The Russian Ministry of Health announced that the dual-component Russian Sputnik V jab, which is at present undergoing WHO approval, is more than 83 percent effective against the Delta variant.