19 June 2020 

Russian Health Ministry has announced that clinical trials of a vaccine to treat Covid-19 have begun in the country. According to statement issued by the ministry, the two kinds of vaccine (liquid and powder) developed by Moscow-based Gamaleya research institute will be tested on two groups of 38 people each. These two groups include military and civilians who have been chosen to test the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

The Government of Israel has signed an agreement with US-based Moderna for the purchase of its potential Covid-19 vaccine in the future. This deal was announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but financial details were not divulged. Last week, the US biotech company confirmed its plans to begin a Phase III trial of its vaccine on 30,000 volunteers in July.

Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), a constituent lab of India-based Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has secured approval for carrying out Phase III trial for the use of Umifenovir to treat Covid-19. In this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, CDRI will test the efficacy, safety and tolerability of  Umifenovir. Umifenovir is a drug primarily used to treat influenza; available in China and Russia, the drug rose to prominence given its potential against Covid-19.