03:45 GMT28 January 2021
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    According to India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare statistics, at present there are 396,729 active cases, with 140,573 deaths recorded so far. However, 9,139,901 people have reportedly recovered from the virus.

    The Serum Institute of India, the largest vaccine-maker globally by number of doses produced, has sought the Indian government's approval for emergency use authorisation of a COVID-19 vaccine that it is developing with the University of Oxford and British drug-maker AstraZeneca. 

    The Serum Institute of India (SII) has made an application to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use authorisation of the vaccine -- Covishield.

    Taking to Twitter on Monday, SII's Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawala said: "As promised, before the end of 2020, SII has applied for emergency use authorisation for the first made-in-India vaccine, Covishield."

    Covishield is currently undergoing phase III clinical trials in various parts of India. Clinical trials on the vaccine are also being carried out in the United Kingdom and Brazil, by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.

    SII's application comes after the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer applied to DCGI for emergency use authorisation of its vaccine in India. 

    Work on vaccines is going ahead in India and another Indian pharmaceutical company, Bharat Biotech, is also working on its own vaccine, COVAXIN, which is also in the third phase of clinical trials.

    Zydus Cadila is also developing an anti-coronavirus vaccine, ZyCoV-D. The company has announced that its phase I clinical trial is over; it commenced phase II clinical trials in August.

    Additionally, Indian generic pharmaceutical company Hetero will produce Russia's Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, which has demonstrated 95 percent efficacy. 

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