New Delhi: Amid the unprecedented spike in the COVID-19 cases across the country, the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) on Friday approved the emergency use for Zydus Cadila’s Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b, ‘Virafin’ for treating moderate COVID-19 infection in adults. DCGI had in January given the emergency use authorisation for two COVID-19 vaccines — Covaxin of Bharat Biotech and Covishield of Oxford-AstraZeneca manufactured by Serum Institute of India in Pune. Earlier this month, the DCGI also gave approval to Russian vaccine Sputnik V.Also Read - Covid or no COVID, Work From Home Policy Stays on Table For Several Companies | Full List

Indigenous vaccine candidates of Zydus Cadila, Biological E and Gennova are also in the pipeline and are in advanced clinical trials in India. Last week, the Department of Biotechnology also expedited efforts to ramp up the production of indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin and increase it to 10 crore doses per month by September. Also Read - India Reports First Case Of Omicron Subvariant BA.4 in Hyderabad

Covaxin’s production will be doubled by May-June and the department has roped in three public sector companies. They are Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd, Mumbai, a public sector undertaking (PSU) under the Maharashtra government; Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), Hyderabad, a facility under National Dairy Development Board; and Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Limited, Bulandshahr, a PSU of the Department of Biotechnology. Also Read - Apple Postpones Plans Return to Office After Rise in Covid-19 Cases

Prime Minister Modi, earlier this week, urged vaccine manufacturers to continuously scale up their production capacity to inoculate all Indians in the shortest possible time. Interacting with vaccine manufacturers from across the country via video conferencing, Modi said the private sector will play an even more active role in the vaccination drive in the coming days and that this will require better coordination between hospitals and the industry.

He also assured all possible support and smooth approval process for the vaccine candidates which are currently under trial phase. The health infrastructure of our private sector has played a big role in the country’s fight against COVID-19, he said.