23:36 GMT30 March 2020
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    An outbreak of pneumonia caused by a new strain of coronavirus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Hubei province, last December, and has since spread to more than 25 countries worldwide.

    Chinese Vice Minister of Science and Technology Xu Nanping said in a press conference on Friday that the vaccine for coronavirus will be submitted for clinical trials as soon as late April, China News reported.

    "In terms of vaccine research and development, multiple routes are deployed in parallel to advance research and development. The fastest vaccine is expected to be applied for clinical trials around late April", Xu told reporters.

    The minister added that the development of the vaccine for various technical routes in China is basically being synchronised with foreign countries. 

    In terms of etiology and epidemiology, Xi said, the virus strain was isolated and identified for the first time and the whole genome sequence of the virus was shared with the World Health Organisation, "laying the foundation for the rapid advancement of diagnostic technology and the development of a drug vaccine".

    Earlier, the government of the city of Taizhou reported that the production of the first drug that may prove to be effective in treating the novel coronavirus had been launched in China's eastern province of Zhejiang. In early February, China National Center for Biotechnology Development said that remdesivir and favipiravir could become a potential treatment.

    The novel coronavirus was first registered in Hubei province and has since claimed the lives of at least 2,236 people in mainland China, with more than 75,400 infected. 

    medicine, authorities, clinical trial, virus, disease, health, pneumonia, Hubei, Wuhan, China
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