World, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Russia testing vaccines against coronavirus

Pre-clinical studies of vaccine prototypes to end by June 2

Elena Teslova   | 01.04.2020
Russia testing vaccines against coronavirus

MOSCOW

Russia has been testing several vaccines and eight drugs to treat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2 commonly known as COVID-19, an official said Wednesday.

Doctors found antibodies for the virus in the blood of 11 patients who recovered at the end of March, Vice Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said at a virtual government meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

A test-system that allows scientists to study the efficiency of vaccines has been produced and several vaccines prototypes have been developed with pre-clinical studies expected to be finished by June 22, and there are already 60 volunteers ready to participate in clinical tests, said Golikova.

In addition, eight drugs that are already in use are being studied to potentially fight the virus with final conclusions announced by April 10, she said.

More than 3 million residents are currently in quarantine in Russia, while the number of cases rose to 2,777.

To stem the spread of infections, Russia imposed lockdowns, including in Moscow and the second city of St. Petersburg, with more regions added every day.

Residents in areas on lock-down are allowed to leave only to buy groceries, walk pets and dispose waste.

Russia also banned the entry of foreign nationals and suspended international air traffic.

After first appearing in Wuhan, China, in December, the virus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 180 countries and regions, according to U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University database.

Data shows the number of cases worldwide has surpassed 911,300, with the death toll nearing 45,500, and more than 192,900 recoveries.

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