With cases of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) climbing steeply everywhere, overwhelming one hospital after another and pushing the global death toll past 50,000, the sprint to find treatments has dramatically accelerated.
Drugs that stop the novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), could save the lives of severely ill patients, protect health care workers and others at high risk of infection, and reduce the time patients spend on hospital beds.
COVID-19 pandemic has hit hard economies, shattered medical systems, crowded hospitals and emptied public areas. Since the spread of coronavirus gained pace on an international level, robust projections regarding recession are doing rounds in the market. And, according to several economists, another time, the world has entered the recession, harsher than experienced in 2008/2009. The longer this pandemic persists, the more it would impact belief in the linear progress.
In this article, we will acquaint you how the health care industry is in the race of developing medicines to combat COVID-19.
WHO Launches Trial Testing Four Potential COVID-19 Treatments
The World Health Organization (WHO) has introduced Solidarity, which is a large multinational trial, testing the potential of therapies, old as well as new, that researchers have suggested may be adequate to combat the coronavirus that is triggering the current pandemic.
Solidarity comprises research investigating four possible drugs for COVID-19, the combination of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine; remdesivir; lopinavir plus ritonavir; and combination of lopinavir plus ritonavir and interferon-beta-1a.
WHO has cautioned physicians and medical associations not to administer or recommend these medications to COVID-19 patients or people self-medicating with them, until there is adequate proof that any of these drugs can slow the progression of the disease or improve survival rates among those infected.
The trouble COVID-19 lays on medical systems implies that WHO deemed the need to undertake a study on robust pace and large scale, as highlighted by this international clinical trial. In addition, WHO has mentioned that designing and conducting randomised clinical studies typically take number of years; however, considering the current pandemic that is claiming lives with numbers increasing with every passing day, the organization has designed the Solidarity trial in such a way that it will lessen the time taken by 80 per cent.
More than 70 countries have already confirmed their contribution towards the global trial as of 27 March 2020, with several others in the process of being part of the study.
Possible COVID-19 Treatment Identified by Scientists in Australia
Not just global organisations, several countries are making efforts towards developing a vaccine/treatment for the coronavirus with rigorous research programs.
Recently, there have been a coronavirus breakthrough; Australian scientists have discovered that an FDA-approved anti-parasitic drug, used for head lice treatment and available across the world, could kill COVID-19 cells in the lab within two days.
Ivermectin is listed as an essential medicine by WHO and is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved anti-parasitic drug, also demonstrating to be effective in vitro against viruses including HIV, influenza and dengue.
Monash University, a public research university based in Melbourne, conducted the study, in collaboration with Doherty Institute (the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity), demonstrating that a single dosage of the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin could inhibit the coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2 virus) growing in cell culture. The scientists are yet to find the effect of this drug on the coronavirus; however, it probably works towards virus prevention and reducing the ability of host cells to clear it.
The scientists will now be determining the correct human dose of this anti-parasitic drug, to make certain the level used in vitro is harmless for human beings. Moreover, the scientists anticipate that it could be at least one month prior to human trials.
It is notable that before anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin could be used for prevention of SARS-CoV-2, funding is required to bring it to pre-clinical and clinical studies.
Dr Wagstaff also mentioned that in times of this global pandemic, there is no approved treatment for COVID-19 and if there has been a drug available globally, it would have helped individuals more quickly. Rationally, it is going to be a while prior to a vaccine is broadly accessible and the use of Ivermectin to fight this pandemic would hinge on the findings of the further pre-clinical examination and eventually by clinical studies.
During this outbreak, the health care industry needs to circle the wagons to safeguard the globe from the coronavirus threat, then only the planet will be able to weather the storm. Everyone should stay safe until the development of a vaccine/treatment and focus on boosting their immunity to fight with COVID-19 if unfortunately, they catch the virus.
Want to know how to boost immunity during this pandemic, Do Read- Ways to Boost Your Immune System to Combat COVID-19
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