By Bala Chambers
LONDON (AA) - After a 16-hour flight from Russia's capital Moscow, 300,000 doses of the vaccine arrived at Ezeiza International airport outside the capital of Buenos Aires on Saturday, just before 11 am local time on a special flight with Aerolineas Argentinas.
After landing, the president of Aerolineas Argentinas, Pablo Ceriani assured the press the journey went "very well," adding "there were no delays of any kind, the loading was done in the stipulated times."
The second batch will allow Argentina to move towards the second phase of vaccinations aimed at front-line health professionals aged between 18-59 years old, with 200,759 doses already administered to health professionals.
Argentina's vaccine treatment plan began in late December when it received a batch of 300,000 doses of Sputnik V, following authorization for emergency use of the vaccine granted by Argentina’s National Administration of Drugs, Foods and Medical Devices, or ANMAT.
The country agreed to buy around 10 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.
It is widely expected that more doses of Sputnik V will arrive towards the end of the month and in February to combat the disease.
Earlier in the day, Argentine authorities found the first case of the British variant of COVID-19 which appears to be more transmissible.
Roberto Salvarezza, the minster of science, technology and innovation, said they had "detected the variant of SARS-CoV-2 from the United Kingdom in a traveler from abroad. The health authorities have already been informed."
The infectious man arrived from Britain in Argentina at the end of December without COVID-19 symptoms.
There is currently a flight ban between both nations due to the new variants.
Argentina, with a population of close to 45 million, has registered nearly more than 1.78 million COVID-19 cases and over 45,000 deaths, according to data from the US-based Johns Hopkins University.
Since December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 2.01 million lives in 191 countries and regions.
Over 94.2 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries now over 51.8 million, according to figures compiled by the US' Johns Hopkins University.
The US, India, and Brazil remain the worst-hit countries in terms of cases.