Turkey making progress in COVID-19 vaccine development, says minister

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Turkey has made progress in locally developing a vaccine for COVID-19, the country’s industry and technology minister has said.

“Our works are bearing fruits. The animal test phase for two potential vaccines has been completed,” Mustafa Varank told state-run Anadolu Agency.

Applications have been filed with the Health Ministry, following the ministry’s assessments and after facilities, where the pilot production for the vaccine will be carried out, the human trials will begin, the minister added. “We are hoping to get significant results regarding the development of the vaccine in the period ahead and we will inform the public of the developments.”

Varank noted that efforts for the coronavirus vaccine and medicine are coordinated under the roof of the COVID-19 Turkey Platform, led by Turkey’s Scientific and Technological Research Council (TÜBİTAK).

“As part of those efforts and the platform, local scientists have already developed the domestic synthesis of the antiviral drug named favipiravir.

A Turkish company is presently producing this medicine,” he also said.

Over 2,100 confirmed and suspected coronavirus patients are currently quarantined at dormitories and hostels across Turkey, the Interior Ministry has said.

“As of Sept. 26, 2,157 people are in isolation in dormitories and hostels that have a capacity of 92,790,” read a ministry statement. Some 689 of these individuals have been placed in quarantine for violating self-isolation requirements, while

1,359 of them are temporary residents, such as seasonal agricultural workers and site workers, it added.

According to the ministry, 3,524 people have been placed in quarantine – either voluntarily or for violating rules – since Sept. 11, when Turkey imposed new measures against COVID-19.

These included mandatory quarantine at government-run facilities for people who violate self-isolation rules. In a notification sent to all 81 of Turkey’s provinces, the Interior Ministry had announced that confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients who violate isolation conditions or who are not able to properly self-isolate will be placed in dormitories and hostels designated by local governors.

Turkey has ramped up measures in past weeks to arrest the spread of the virus, introducing tighter inspections and curb on social events.

But it started in-class education for kindergarten students and first graders on Sept. 21. Starting Sept. 28, this group of students are beginning to attend classes two days a week. In the first week of the face-to-face education students went to school only one day a week.

Hurriyet Daily News

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