Turkey and Russia agreed Tuesday to cooperate to develop vaccine against the novel coronavirus and conduct joint clinical trials.

The Turkish Health Ministry said in a statement that Health Minister Fahrettin Koca held a video conference call with his Russian counterpart Mikhail Murashko.

Turkey has achieved success in its COVID-19 combat by using different treatments than the World Health Organization, Koca stressed, citing the downtick coronavirus cases and death toll decrease day by day.

Koca recalled that Turkey began the normalization process as of June 1 and nearly 130,000 recovered from COVID-19.

Turkey is carrying out its studies on vaccine in 22 centers, the top health official said, adding that four of them have passed to the animal testing stage so far.

For his part, Murashko said that they are working on the synthesis of the COVID-19 vaccine, and achieved positive results from animal testings.

Murashko also asked for an experience sharing of Turkey in the drug tracking system.

Both ministers agreed to meet regularly and conduct joint studies in vaccine and drug development.

Meanwhile, Koca said on Twitter that Turkey will play an active role in drug development and make processes with related institutions including the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to 188 countries and regions across the world. The US, Brazil, Russia and some European countries are currently the worst-hit.

The pandemic has killed more than 377,400 people worldwide, with total infections reaching over 6.32 million, while more than 2.72 million people have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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