WHO finally sees 'potentially positive data' in treating coronavirus

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: May 13, 2020, 08:48 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in New York City, New York Photograph:( Reuters )

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The WHO is leading a global initiative to develop safe and effective vaccines, tests and drugs to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has finally seen some positive data in its mission to resolve the coronavirus crisis.

The WHO on Tuesday said that some treatments appear to be limiting the severity or length of COVID-19, the disease caused due to the novel coronavirus, referring to the results of early studies of four or five treatments.

The respiratory illness has infected 4.29 million people around the world.

The WHO is leading a global initiative to develop safe and effective vaccines, tests and drugs to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19.

"We do have potentially positive data coming out but we need to see more data to be 100% confident that we can say this treatment over that one," spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a briefing, adding more research was needed and planned.

Harris said she had been referring to early results of four or five treatments already in the public domain and not to the WHO's Solidarity Trial.

Meanwhile, Gilead Science Inc says its antiviral drug remdesivir has helped improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients. Clinical data released last month on remdesivir raised hopes it might be an effective treatment. Several studies looking at combinations of antiviral medicines have also suggested they may help patients fight off the virus.

In another research, results of a trial in Hong Kong released this month showed a triple drug combination of antiviral medicines helped relieve symptoms in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 infection and swiftly reduced the amount of virus in their bodies.

A malaria treatment championed by US President Donald Trump as a "game changer" in the fight against the coronavirus again failed to show a benefit in patients hospitalised with COVID-19, a study this month found.

Meanwhile, more than 100 potential COVID-19 vaccines are being developed, including several in clinical trials. The WHO said in April a vaccine would take at least 12 months.

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