The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Saturday partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) to develop a fully indigenous vaccine for coronavirus COVID-19. The team will use the virus strain isolated at ICMR’s National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. The strain has been successfully transferred from NIV to Bharat Biotech International Ltd (BBIL).
The work on vaccine development has been initiated between the two partners. ICMR-NIV will provide continuous support to BBIL for vaccine development. ICMR and BBIL will seek fast-track approvals to expedite vaccine development, subsequent animal studies and clinical evaluation of the candidate vaccine.
India has already recorded 59,662 COVID-19 cases including 1,981 deaths. In the last 24 hours, 3,320 new confirmed cases have been added and 1307 patients were found cured. The fatality rate is 3.3 per cent and recovery rate is 29.9 per cent, said Union Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan.
He also added that (May 8) there are 2.41 per cent present active COVID-19 patients in ICU, 0.38 per cent on ventilators and 1.88 per cent on oxygen support. He also said, “The testing capacity has increased in the country and it is 95,000 tests per day with 332 Government laboratories and 121 private laboratories. Cumulatively, 15,25,631 tests have been done so far for COVID-19.”
The ICMR is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research and is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world. ICMR’s research agenda align with the National health priorities. These efforts are undertaken with a view to reduce the total burden of disease and to promote the health and well-being of the population.
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