State Duma Says Five MPs Re-Infected with Coronavirus

At least five members of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, have been infected with coronavirus twice, its speaker said Tuesday, The Moscow Times reports.

Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said 11 lawmakers have tested positive for coronavirus over the past week, bringing the total number of infections in the 450-member chamber to 157.

“What’s more concerning is that five deputies have fallen ill with the coronavirus again,” Volodin said at a Duma session.

“Their antibodies hadn’t developed and they got infected,” he said, urging colleagues to avoid traveling abroad for the New Year holidays and to follow health guidelines when communicating with voters.

Russian authorities have until recently insisted there were no second infections in Russia, including when confronted by a scientist who deliberately got infected with Covid-19 twice.

Experts say the handful of Covid-19 reinfections worldwide are not yet sufficient to draw conclusions on how they will affect vaccinations and herd immunity.

Russia late last week launched the large-scale rollout of its domestically made Sputnik V vaccine among high-risk workers, with developers placing the jab’s effectiveness at 91.4%.

Parallel post-registration trials are expected to wrap up in May 2021 with full efficacy results released next month.