Coronavirus update: India to take part in WHO’s Covid-19 vaccine trials, says ICMR

Updated on Mar 28, 2020 06:07 AM IST

Covid-19 update: According to the WHO, many countries have already confirmed that they will join the solidarity trial. The list includes Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand.

According to WHO, it, along with its partners is organizing a study comparing untested treatments for coronavirus.(Reuters File Photo)
According to WHO, it, along with its partners is organizing a study comparing untested treatments for coronavirus.(Reuters File Photo)
Mint, New Delhi | ByNeetu Chandra Sharma

India will soon participate in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ongoing trial aimed at developing vaccines for Covid-19, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Friday. So far India hasn’t volunteered as there weren’t enough numbers to participate in the trial, but now that the number of Covid-19 cases has rapidly increased in the country, India decided to go ahead.

“We have indicated our willingness to become a part of vaccine trials as and when they start for our population. In case of newer drugs, we are likely to start our participation in solidarity trials, because earlier our numbers were small and contribution was minuscule,” said Raman R Gangakhedkar, head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at ICMR.

“We are developing the repurposed molecule for vaccine. We have asked the department of biotechnology to take up the vaccine trials because they have ample infrastructure for vaccine development,” said Gangakhedkar.

According to the WHO, many countries have already confirmed that they will join the solidarity trial. The list includes Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand.

According to WHO, it, along with its partners is organizing a study comparing untested treatments.

This large, international study has been designed to generate the robust data needed to show which treatments are the most effective. The solidarity trial provides simplified procedures to enable even hospitals that have been too overloaded to participate. WHO has also created a Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, seeking financing for protective equipment for frontline health workers, equipment for diagnostic laboratories, improved surveillance and data collection, creation and maintenance of intensive care units, strengthening of supply chains, acceleration of research and development of vaccines and therapeutics, and other measures.

The number of Covid-19 cases and deaths continues to rise in India. Lav Aggarwal, joint secretary, ministry of health and family welfare, on Friday said that 724 COVID-19 cases had been reported in the country with 17 deaths. In the last 24 hours, 75 new positive cases and four deaths have been reported, he added. In a Friday evening update, the number of cases rose to 878 and 18 deaths.

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