Pedestrians, wearing protective masks, walk along a street in  Tehran on June 28, 2020.
Pedestrians, wearing protective masks, walk along a street in Tehran on June 28, 2020. Image Credit: AFP

Tehran: Iran is preparing to test a homegrown Covid-19 vaccine in people, Health Minister Saeed Namaki said on Tuesday, after a surge in post-lockdown cases of the virus sent fatalities to a record high.

"Most animal tests have been passed and we will work on clinical trials of the vaccine in humans in the very near future," Saeed Namaki said at a pharmaceutical exhibition, according to a statement on the Ministry of Health's website. Iranian scientists have been developing the vaccine for four months, he said.

Cases have swelled since the government eased lockdown restrictions in April, with a record 162 deaths reported on Monday. Laboratories around the world are engaged in fast-paced efforts to develop treatments and vaccines for the virus.