Turkey, Russia agree to cooperate on developing coronavirus vaccine

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Turkey and Russia have agreed to cooperate in the development of a coronavirus vaccine and plan to carry out joint clinical trials, the Turkish health minister said on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said scientific advisers from the two countries were scheduled to hold a second round of talks later this week.

A total of 22 Turkish universities and research centers are working to develop a vaccine, and four of them have advanced to the animal-testing stage, Koca said.

The minister also said Turkey has seen the benefit of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and will continue to administer it to COVID-19 patients, despite concerns raised over the drug.

Koca said unlike other countries, Turkey has been using the drug early in COVID-19 treatment. 

Turkey recorded 867 confirmed virus cases and 24 deaths between Tuesday and Wednesday, the minister said. The update brought the total confirmed cases in the country to 144,422 and the death toll to 4,609.

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