The research trial is led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to find an effective treatment for Covid-19. It is not a vaccine trial.
While the development of a vaccine could take many months, WHO says other treatments may be developed much quicker.
Other countries partaking in the study, called The Solidarity Trial, are Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand.
The leader of SA's effort is Professor Helen Rees says local experts are looking at both old and new treatments to fight against the novel coronavirus.
We are looking at four different types of treatments. Some are old medicines and one is a new medicine under investigation. That's separate from a vaccine trial, which is further down the line.— Prof. Helen Rees, Head of Wits Reproductive Health Institute and the Chair of WHO Immunisation Advisory
WHO is encouraging countries to sign up.— Prof. Helen Rees, Head of Wits Reproductive Health Institute and the Chair of WHO Immunisation Advisory
Clinicians and researchers have been desperate to find treatments to either stop the infection progressing and stop the deaths that we are seeing.— Prof. Helen Rees, Head of Wits Reproductive Health Institute and the Chair of WHO Immunisation Advisory
Listen to the discussion on Weekend Breakfast with Africa Melane:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Worldwide WHO trial involving SA is focused on Covid-19 treatment, not vaccine