Alexander Ginzburg, the director of the Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, which developed the Russian vaccine against the coronavirus Sputnik V, has said he has contracted the omicron strain of the coronavirus but has no COVID-19 symptoms. He attributed this to the fact that he had been vaccinated with Sputnik V. Ginzburg said in one Interview mit RIA Nowosti:
“Those who have been vaccinated with Sputnik are unlikely to contract the omicron strain of coronavirus and may not know they have been infected until they have taken antibodies and tested for virus neutralization on omicron. That’s exactly what I did by I flew abroad. If I had not been able to detect the virus-neutralizing antibodies against omicron in my serum after the trip, I would not have known that I had contracted the virus.”
According to Ginzburg, the test he took after his trip abroad showed very high titers of viral omicron antibodies. However, the scientist never showed any symptoms of COVID-19 disease.
At the beginning of December, the first cases of the SARS-CoV-2 variant Omikron were detected in Russia. As of January 12, 698 cases have been registered, most of them in Moscow and the Moscow region.
Veronika Skvortsova, the head of the Medical and Biological Agency of the Russian Federation (FMBA), said that the proportion of patients infected with the omicron strain of coronavirus in the Moscow sample conducted by the FMBA to study its testing system is already at is over 76 percent. However, the Russian supervisory authority for health protection Rospotrebnadzor pointed out that the FMBA study cannot be extrapolated to all new cases. Ginzburg himself stated that as of January 10, Omikron accounted for up to 30 percent of all COVID-19 cases.
With the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron, the world is experiencing a record-breaking increase in cases of the disease. On January 13th reported the WHO that around 3.4 million people have contracted the coronavirus within 24 hours – the highest number since the pandemic began. According to experts, Russia will also face an increase in cases of infection due to the omicron variant. Rospotrebnadzor predicts that this will happen by the end of January or the beginning of February.
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