A hemodialysis unit at Moscow's Clinical Hospital No 52 treating COVID-19 patients, patients with suspected coronavirus and patients with viral community-acquired pneumonia. Vladimir Gerdo/TASS

he World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed its gratitude to Russia for efforts to create a safe and effective vaccine against a new type of coronavirus infection.

WHO highly appreciates the efforts of the Russian Federation in the development of a vaccine against COVID-19, namely ‘Sputnik V’ Once again, I want to thank the Minister [of Health of the Russian Federation Mikhail Murashko] for those phased steps to develop the vaccine. It is safe and effective, TASS quotes Hans Kluge, Director of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, who spoke after talks with Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko.

He added that during the talks with the Russian official, the parties discussed general issues of vaccination.

Russia has shown global solidarity and helped me as a regional director to support Central Asian countries, Kluge said.

WHO previously presented a list of nine vaccines against COVID-19 in the third phase of trials, with Russia’s Sputnik V among them.

The World Health Organization declared an outbreak of a new infection, COVID-19, which originated in China at the end of 2019, as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. The first cases were reported in Wuhan, Hubei. The population of the metropolis is about 12 million people. According to preliminary data, the fish market became the source of COVID-19. reported earlier, referring to the World Health Organization, that African herbal remedies could be used to treat COVID-19.