Turkey and Russia have joined efforts to conduct clinical trials of coronavirus vaccine candidates, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Wednesday.
"We know that the vaccine research, in particular, tests on animals, have ended. Vaccine clinical trials is another serious process. It is not sufficient to conduct trials within a single country. We work alongside Russia on its clinical trials," Koca said cited by the Aksam daily.
On Tuesday, Koca said that Turkey and Russia would collaborate in developing the vaccine against and cure for COVID-19, TASS reports.
The presidents of the two countries, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, held telephone talks on May 18 and the Russian leader stressed the importance of cooperation in such areas as development of COVID treatment techniques and vaccines. Chief of Russia’s sanitary watchdog Anna Popova said on May 22 Moscow and Ankara were ready for joint work to develop an anti-coronavirus vaccine.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 6,468,700 people have been infected worldwide and more than 382,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 3,078,900 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
Turkey reported the first coronavirus case on March 10 when a local man tested positive after travelling to Europe. Up to now, over 166,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the country, with 4,609 deaths and 130,852 recoveries from the disease.
To date, a total of 432,277 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 195,957 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 5,215 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.