Bangladesh, 3 other countries want Indian Covid-19 vaccine trials: Indian PM Modi | The Daily Star
07:07 PM, October 17, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:09 PM, October 17, 2020

Bangladesh, 3 other countries want Indian Covid-19 vaccine trials: Indian PM Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said there are requests to India from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for holding vaccine clinical trials in their countries.

He also said two Pan-Indian studies on the genome of SARS CoV-2 (Covid-19 virus) in India conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Department of Biotechnology suggest that the coronavirus is "genetically stable across India and there is no major mutation in the virus."

Speaking at a high-level meeting in New Delhi to review the coronavirus situation, he said Indian scientists and research teams are collaborating and strengthening their research capacities in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

"There are further requests from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for clinical trials in their countries," an official statement quoted Modi as saying.

Modi suggested a vaccine delivery system be developed on the lines of conduct of elections, involving all levels of governments and citizen groups.

"It must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment and preparation of ancillary equipment required such as vials and syringes," Modi said.

The PM noted a "clear decline" in daily cases, growth rate and the number of deaths due to Covid-19 over the past three weeks but cautioned against complacency and advised keeping up the efforts to contain the pandemic by sticking to social distancing, Covid-appropriate behaviour, such as wearing masks, regularly washing hands and sanitation especially in the wake of the upcoming festival season.

The meeting was attended by Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Principal Secretary to the PM, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, the government's official think-tank and the principal scientific advisor to the government, senior scientists and senior officers.

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