File photo of a nurse preparing Russiaís "Sputnik-V" vaccine against the coronavirus disease for inoculation in a post-registration trials stage at a clinic in Moscow.
A shipment of the Russian-made Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine has been delivered to Venezuela, allowing the Central American nation to take part in clinical trials of the vaccine, says Venezuelan vice president.
"This cooperation for the Sputnik-V vaccine was the result of the permanent contact, the meetings, the close cooperation that exists between Venezuela and Russia," Vice President Delcy Rodriguez declared in a televised statement on Friday.
The delivery marks the first in Latin America, but Rodriquez did not reveal the number of vaccines in the shipment.
Venezuelaís Health Minister Carlos Alvarado, however, stated that 2,000 people will participate in a trial that commences later this month in the nationís capital of Caracas.
The development came after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro proposed last month that the Russian COVID-19 vaccines be administered to nearly 15,000 candidates in the upcoming legislative polls so that they can campaign safely.
Caracas has expanded its diplomatic ties with Moscow in face of a brutal sanctions program imposed by Washington in its declared bid to oust the elected government of President Maduro.
Indiaís COVID-19 deaths surpass 100,000
Meanwhile, India has surpassed the 100,000 COVID-19 fatality mark on Saturday, according to official data, as the outbreak continued to rapidly spread across the worldís second most populous nation.
Indiaís health ministry figures put the total number of coronavirus deaths at 100,842, placing the country third highest in the world in terms of fatalities, behind the US and Brazil.
The country has also registered 6.47 million infections and is well on course to overtake the US as the nation with the highest cases in the weeks ahead.
This is while Indiaís population of 1.3 billion is nearly four times larger than that of the United States, which has so far recorded more than twice as many fatalities, raising doubts about the validity of official COVID-19 figures shared by Indian authorities.
Moreover, Indiaís lead pandemic agency released a survey on Tuesday suggesting that more than 60 million people there -- 10 times the official tally -- may have contracted the virus.
The development comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modiís right-wing government is pushing ahead with efforts to open up Asiaís third-largest economy even as infections persistently surge across the country.
Meanwhile, a stringent lockdown imposed in March not only failed to halt the spread of the contagion but also led to further misery for millions of people who suddenly lost their jobs.
The Indian economy shrank 24 percent in the last quarter, marking one of the steepest drops of any major economy.
While international commercial flights largely remain suspended, domestic trains, metros, flights, as well as markets and restaurants have already reopened or resumed service, with some restrictions.
Furthermore, the government announced on Wednesday that all schools could re-open along with cinemas and swimming pools, subject to certain conditions.
Uttar Pradesh state, home to 200 million people, is also allowing the resumption of religious events from October 15, clearing the way for major gatherings in Indiaís upcoming festive season.
The state of Bihar further announced that it will allow its 70 million voters to cast ballots in the upcoming polls, one of the biggest to take place worldwide since the pandemic began.