Photo Credit: Deutche Welle

At least 8-10 months are required to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus originating from China, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko told reporters on Wednesday.

“Currently, vaccines cannot be developed in a short amount of time. The vaccine is developed at least within 8-10 months, and this is just the beginning stage, without clinical trials,” he said.

The Russian Embassy in China informed earlier that there were 341 Russian citizens on the territory of the Hubei province, with 183 having contacted the Russian embassy. Russian President Vladimir Putin decreed to send Russian Aerospace Forces planes to evacuate those citizens wishing to return to Russia. On February 5, two Russian military planes evacuated 144 people from Wuhan to Russia’s Tyumen. Neither of them have shown symptoms of coronavirus so far. All passengers have been quarantined for 14 days on their arrival.

On December 31, Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about an outbreak of an unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan – a large trade and industrial center in central China populated by 11 million people. On January 7, Chinese experts identified the infecting agent – coronavirus 2019-nCoV. The virus spread to 24 more countries apart from China – Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, India, Italy, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak in China a global health emergency.

Currently, the total number of people infected with coronavirus exceeded 24,300 in China with over 490 people reported to have died from the disease. Meanwhile, 916 people are said to have recovered from it.