First batch of Russian COVID-19 vaccine to be released within 14 days: Russian Minister of Health

Russia's Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko said on Wednesday that the first batches of the Russian coronavirus vaccine will be released within two weeks.

Medical workers will be the first ones to receive the shot, he explained, but noted that the vaccination will be a voluntary process.

The Russian market will be the focal point of vaccine production in its initial stages, the official also revealed.

Reuters reported that the minister rejected as “groundless” the safety concerns aired by some experts over Moscow’s rapid approval of the drug.

“It seems our foreign colleagues are sensing the specific competitive advantages of the Russian drug and are trying to express opinions that in our opinion are completely groundless,” Murashko said.

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday announced that Russia has registered the world’s first coronavirus vaccine named ‘Sputnik V’.

Putin: Russia Becomes First Country in the World to Register COVID-19 Vaccine

Russia's first vaccine against the coronavirus was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute. Clinical trials of the vaccine were launched on 18 June and all 38 volunteers developed immunity.

Russia has become the first country in the world to register a vaccine against COVID-19, President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday during a government meeting.

The president also asked Health Minister Mikhail Murashko to keep him informed about the vaccine, while at the same time noting that he knows "it works quite effectively" and "forms a stable immunity".

 "I hope we will be able to start mass production of this medication in the near future, which is very important", the president said.

Putin further thanked everyone who worked on the first-ever vaccine against the coronavirus, and described it as "a very important step for the world".

 "I hope that our colleagues abroad will also move forward, and there will be quite a lot of products that can be used on the market, on the world market for medicines and vaccines", Putin continued.

The Russian president also revealed that one of his daughters had been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Restoration work for the western section of Al Zahrawi Palace starts in Homs

The Department of Antiquities in Homs has begun a project to restore and rehabilitate the western section of Al-Zahrawi Palace in the Old City, which will be dedicated to the Museum of Folklore.

Engineer Hussam Hamish, head of the Antiquities Department in Homs, stated to SANA that the project, which amounts to SYP 20 million, includes restoring the walls and ceilings and reinforcing the main hall separating the western and eastern sections of the palace, re-installing the doors and windows according to the photos and plans kept by the department to preserve the archaeological and historical aesthetic of the palace.

Hamish pointed out that the palace was looted, vandalized and burned by armed terrorist groups that were stationed in the old city, adding that the current restoration and rehabilitation project is the second for the palace, as the first project, which was implemented in 2014, included restoring the domes and reinforcing all parts that were about to fall.

Hamish clarified  that Al-Zahrawi Palace is one of the important archaeological palaces in the city of Homs, which dates back to the Mamluki period, noting that, in Homs, there is also the palace of Moufeed Al-Amin, which dates back to the same historical period, and Farkouh Palace, which is one of the private archaeological buildings .

It is worth noting that the project to restore and rehabilitate the western section of Al Zahrawi Palace, which is located on an area of 350 meters, will last for three months.

Amal Farhat

Wounded Syrian fighter starts walk on his wheelchair from Hama to Aleppo

HAMA, (ST)_ Conveying the message of steadfastness and loyalty to his homeland ,Syria, and the Syrian Arab Army, wounded fighter Ghiath Dayoub started on Sunday a walk on his wheelchair from the city of Hama to Aleppo
Dayoub is from al-Mahrousa village in Mesyaf area and has lower limb paralysis which he sustained when he was fighting in the province of Aleppo within the ranks of the National Defense Forces.

First grain-loaded train arrives in Damascus countryside coming from Tartous after 9-year hiatus

DAMASCUS COUNTRYSIDE, (ST)- Following a nine-year hiatus, the first train, loaded with grains, arrived on Saturday in Sbeineh town in Damascus countryside coming from the Syrian coastal city of Tartous.

The trip marks the resumption of railway transportation between Damascus on the one hand and the central and coastal region on the other, mainly to deliver food materials.

Transport Minister Ali Hammoud said in a statement that the train kicked off its trip from Tartous Airport loaded with a thousand tons of grain and arrived this morning at Sbeineh silos in the countryside of Damascus marking the resumption of railway transportation.