New Delhi: India will participate in the WHO's multi-country "solidarity trial" for developing potential treatments and drugs for COVID-19 (coronavirus), apex health research body Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Friday.
The decision came as the country reported 2,547 cases of the coronavirus infection, including 62 deaths so far.
"ICMR will collaborate with the World Health Organization (WHO) for public health emergency 'SOLIDARITY TRIAL- An international randomised trial of additional treatments for COVID-19 in hospitalised patients'," the ICMR said in a statement.
The trial will be coordinated in India by scientist at ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute, Pune, Dr Sheela Godbole, the research body's officials said.
Earlier Head of Epidemiology and Communicable diseases at ICMR Raman R Gangakhedkar had said, "Earlier we did not do it because our numbers were so small and our contribution would have looked minuscule."
He had said the initial priority of the ICMR in developing drugs was more towards re-purposed molecules than new molecules. Thus was because new molecule research tends to take longer time, Gangakhedkar.
"And, we don't have so much time when we are facing this infection," he had said.
The ICMR is also working with the department of biotechnology, department of science and technology and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 and diagnostic kits.
"At the same time, we are watching the efforts of some of the scientific groups that are working on vaccines. Currently, there are altogether 30 different groups which are working on developing vaccines out of which at least five are already going for animal toxicity studies," Gangakhedkar had said.
"We have indicated our willingness to go for vaccine trials if they pass out on animal study for our own Indian population," he had said.
Meanwhile, the International Council of Jurists (ICJ) and All India Bar Association have moved the United Nations Human Rights Council seeking compensation from China for "surreptitiously developing a biological weapon capable of mass destruction."
The complaint was penned by senior advocate Adish C. Aggarwala, the Chairperson of All India Bar Association and President of International Council of Jurists, in the backdrop of the spread of deadly coronavirus, which has claimed thousands of lives across the world.
"It is humbly prayed that the UNHRC may be pleased to enquire and direct China and to adequately compensate international community and member states, particularly India, for surreptitiously developing a biological weapon capable of mass destruction of mankind," Aggarwala stated in the complaint.
The advocate demanded remuneration from China for inflicting serious physical, psychological, economic and social harm on the world.
Aggarwala also pointed out the effects of the pandemic on the Indian economy, the imbalance in demand and supply of commodities and migration of marginalized people.
"The economic activity of the country is put on hold, in turn causing a huge dent on the local economy of the country as well as in general, the global economy," the complaint added.
The complaint further claimed that China meticulously hatched a conspiracy to spread the coronavirus in the world and violated provisions of International Health Regulations (IHR), International Human Rights and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Laws and UDHR clauses.
"It remains a mystery as to how the virus has not spread to all provinces of China but at the same time, has spread to all countries in the world. The speculation only increases the likelihood of the COIVD-19 being a carefully assembled biological weapon, aimed at crippling major countries in the world leaving only China as the beneficiary," the complaint pointed out.
The complainant further claimed that the virus was developed in the Wuhan Virology Lab from where it was carefully deployed to affect a minuscule 0.001% of the Chinese population.
He said that the neighboring country deployed the coronavirus virus in a bid to control the economy of the world by buying up stocks from countries that are on the brink of economic collapse.
The Chinese government had deliberately censored information and hid the early warnings given by Dr. Li Wenliang, who was, in fact, reprimanded and initially punished by local authorities in China, he said.
"The government also did not sufficiently contain and curb the travel of infected persons from further contaminating the world."
(With agency inputs)