World

WHO expects interim results from Covid-19 drug trials within next two weeks

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on July 04, 2020 Published on July 04, 2020

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The World Health Organization (WHO) expects interim results from its clinical trials for drugs that can be used in Covid-19 treatment within the next two weeks.

"Nearly 5,500 patients in 39 countries have so far been recruited into the Solidarity trial," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing hosted by the UN correspondents' association in Geneva as quoted by a Zee News report.

"We expect interim results within the next two weeks," he said.

The United Nations (UN) health agency had spearheaded the Solidarity Trial initiative to find a possible treatment for Covid-19. The trials had been conducted in five parts testing out different drugs that can be effective in the treatment of patients suffering from the disease. The trial included testing of remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, HIV drugs lopinavir/ritonavir and lopanivir/ritonavir combined with interferon.

The health agency refused to comment on a vaccine timeline. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO's emergencies programme said that it would be unwise to predict a definitive timeline for a Covid-19 vaccine which could be ready for mass distribution. There may be a vaccine that could show the level of efficacy required for it to be approved for use, the question would be how soon could it be mass-produced, Ryan said according to the Zee News report.

Ryan further urged the countries to put up a fight against the virus to prevent themselves from the worst-case scenario.

"People need to wake up. The data is not lying. The situation on the ground is not lying," Ryan said as quoted by an AFP report.

He suggested that countries need to take proper measures to break down the problem and tackle the pandemic accordingly instead of a complete lockdown. Relaxations could be implemented in areas with lesser transmission but with precautions. However, stricter measures are unavoidable in areas where the infection is spreading at a rapid rate, Ryan said as per the report.

According to the WHO’s Covid-19 situation dashboard, over 10.7 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported so far with casualties surpassing 5.1 lakh.

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Published on July 04, 2020
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