COVID drug results within 14 days; WHO Director-General

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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WHO Director General
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaking at a recent media briefing

The World Health Organization (WHO)’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has updated that the results from initial clinical trials of COVID-19 drugs which might be effective to manage the infected will be made available to it soon. 

Referring to clinical studies conducted by the U.N. agency, the Director-General told at a briefing that  “Nearly 5,500 patients in 39 countries have so far been recruited into the Solidarity trial. We expect interim results within the next two weeks.”

The trials are being conducted throughout the globe on five major approaches;

  • Standard care currently provided to patients
  • antiviral medication, Remdesivir
  • the anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine
  • HIV drugs Lopinavir/Ritonavir and
  • Lopinavir/Ritonavir combined with interferon

Testing based on the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine was stopped citing studies that showed no benefit in those who have the disease. Additional trails need to be conducted to whether it can be used effectively as preventative medicine.

Even though there are 18 potential candidates are being tested on humans, there still remains a significant time gap to a mass-produced COVID-19 vaccine. WHO’ head for emergencies program, Mike Ryan, said it would be unwise to predict when a vaccine could be ready against COVID-19 which has killed more than half a million people.

While a vaccine candidate might show its effectiveness by year’s end, the question was how soon it could be mass-produced, Mr. Ryan told the U.N. journalists’ association ACANU in Geneva.