The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has confirmed that India will be part of the solidarity trials being conducted by the WHO with several other nations. According to the WHO, the trials will compare four treatment options against standard of care to assess their relative effectiveness against COVID-19, making it clear that the idea is to synergise the outcomes of treatments underway in various countries.
"We are likely to start our participation soon in the WHO solidarity trials. Earlier we did not do it because our numbers were small," said ICMR Director Dr Raman Gangakhedkar.
India is also looking to participate in, and collaborate with, independent clinical trials in the Netherlands, the UK and Germany. However, the ICMR has made it clear that no vaccine in India has reached the stage of human trials yet.
The National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) are spearheading 18 other research institutes in India in developing a vaccine. Reports suggest that the government has also received at least 7,000 proposals from private companies in India to fight the virus. At least 45 repurposed drugs are also being identified that could be effective and the research is on.