As the country continues to battle the novel Coronavirus, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) to develop a fully indigenous vaccine for COVID-19. The apex medical council and BBIL shall use the virus strain isolated at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune. The virus strain has successfully been transferred from NIV to BBIL.
A press release by the ICMR has informed that work on the development of a vaccine has been initiated between the two partners. ICMR-NIV has also assured continuous support for the vaccine development to BBIL. "ICMR and BBIL will seek fast-track approvals to expedite vaccine development, subsequent animal studies and clinical evaluation of the candidate vaccine," the press release further read.
India has so far reported 59,662 cases of COVID-19, of which 17,847 patients have recovered while 1,981 have died. The recovery rate has reached 30% while the fatality rate stands at around 3%. In the Northeast, Tripura has the highest number of cases with 118 patients or which only two have recovered. While Assam has reported 59 cases of which 34 have recovered while one patient has died, the only COVID death in the region.
At present, 70 contentious vaccines for COVID-19 have been reported globally. Out of which, 3 have reached human trials. Recently, Italian scientists claimed to come up with one to protect humans from contracting the virus. According to Italy's news agency ANSA, a firm called Takis has invented a Coronavirus vaccine that has antibodies generated in mice that work on human cells. The vaccine was been tested in Rome's Spallanzani Hospital.
Luigi Aurisicchio, CEO of Takis has stated that for the first time, the candidate vaccine has neutralised the COVID-19 virus in human cells. He added that this is the most advanced stage of testing of a candidate vaccine created in Italy and human trials are expected after this summer.