28 March 2020 | News
The combination drug trial to be followed shortly by Iran, Germany, Switzerland and Italy
image courtesy: BioWorld MedTech
"Spain and Norway are ready to enrol their patients for COVID-19 clinical trial", announces Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, on 27 March 2020 regarding the first solidarity trial.
The trial is subjecting 4 different drugs or drug combinations against COVID-19 to compare their safety and efficacy for fighting against coronavirus. The trial is expected to be followed shortly by Iran, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.
"This is a historic trial which will dramatically cut the time needed to generate robust evidence about drug work. Over 45 countries are contributing to the trial & more have expressed interest. More the countries join the trial, the faster we will have results. In the meantime, we call on individuals & countries to refrain from using therapeutics that have not been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19" says Dr Tedros.
Dr Tedros cautioned that some medicines work on the laboratory scale but are not effective on infected patients or might turn harmful. He emphasised not to rely on the drugs or therapies which have not passed the clinical trial. "We must follow the evidence. There are no short-cuts", Dr Tedros alerted.
Dr Tedros expressed his appreciation towards the individuals and organisations who contributed for COVID-19 solidarity fund. "We’re also delighted to report that the COVID19 Solidarity Fund has now received donations of more than USD 108M, from 203,000 individuals & organizations", thanked Dr Tedros.
"We have recently seen an increase in scams, cyberattacks and impersonation using WHO, my name and COVID-19. I am very grateful to those working in various national organizations providing critical cybersecurity intelligence to the WHO Cybersecurity team" Dr Tedros alarmed.
WHO has also trained more than 1 million health workers through OpenWHO.Org, an inhouse course and aims to train more.
"WHO is continuing to support all countries in the response. We’ve published more than 40 guidance documents on our website, providing detailed, evidence-based recommendations for governments, hospitals, health workers, members of the public & more", he added.
The English version of WHO WhatsApp Health Alert now has more than 12 million users globally, and the Arabic, French and Spanish versions were launched on 27th March. More languages will be added, including Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Kurdish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Urdu, Swahili and more. Microsoft is assisting on the same.