Russia claims to have spotted another type of Covid that could thwart the power of vaccines, it was revealed today.
Scientists are now scrambling to find out whether jabs still work against the mutant ‘Moscow’ strain.
Health chiefs have not released any public detail about the variant and local media says experts are confident vaccines should still be effective.
Moscow’s coronavirus outbreak has been growing since mid-May, with 7,704 cases reported across the city on Sunday — the most in a single day since December 24. Academics at the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, which produces the Sputnik V vaccine, suggested the new variant could be blame for the rocketing numbers.
Deputy director Denis Logunov told the state-owned Russian news agency TASS: ‘Now we are monitoring [the situation] in Moscow, and most importantly, Moscow may still have its own Moscow strains.’ Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Saturday the city was repurposing thousands of hospital beds for an influx of Covid patients and told residents to stay off work in the coming week to help curb the spread of the virus.
Sports pitches, playgrounds and other attractions inside large parks were closed for a week from Sunday. Bars and restaurants were ordered to close no later than 11pm.