WHO begins drug trials to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Mar 28, 2020, 02.01 PM(IST) Edited By: Bharat Sharma

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

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WHO officials are testing four of the most promising drugs to fight COVID-19

The World Health Organization has announced trials for four drugs to treat the novel coronavirus. The first patients in a “historic” drug trial to test treatments for coronavirus have been enrolled in Norway and Spain.

"We are delighted to announce that today in Norway and spain, the first patients will shortly be enrolled in the solidarity trial, which will compare the safety and effectiveness of four different drugs or drug combinations against covid-19. This is a historic trial which will dramatically cut the time needed to generate robust evidence about what drugs work”, said World Health Organization Director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Also read: WHO warns of 'dramatic evolution' of coronavirus in Africa

He further added that over 45 countries are joining the trial, and that more the participation, the better the results!

“In the meantime, we call on all individuals and countries to refrain from using therapeutics that have not been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19", Ghebreyesus added.

WHO officials are testing four of the most promising drugs to fight COVID-19: These include malaria medications Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine, an antiviral compound called Remdesivir, alongside a combination of HIV drugs - Lopinavir and Ritonavir.

Also read: India to participate in WHO 'solidarity trial' for developing potential COVID-19 drugs

Additionally, a combination of these are being mixed with interferon-beta! 

According to a small study in France, Chloroquine and its derivative Hydroxychloroquine have helped in treating coronavirus patients.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted these drugs as potential treatments..

However, experts believe that the findings of the study were not definitive and more trials are needed.

But even with the clinical trials, the World Health Organisation still believes that a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 is still 12 to 18 months away.