Clinical trials of COVID-19 treatment, A hope for Pakistan

Task Force on Science and Technology Chairman Dr. Attaur Rehman expressed the hope that the clinical trials for Chloroquine and other anti-viral drugs conducted by the force would be successful in Pakistan in a couple of weeks as it had a success rate of 93 percent after applying to 1063 coronavirus patients in France.

The clinical trials were being conducted under the supervision of Dr. Javed Akram of Lahore University of Health Sciences.

Dr.Atta said that his Task Force had established a testing center at Virology Institute of Karachi University where they have received some serious reports of 25 to 30 percent positive symptoms from hot areas of Karachi-East and South regions.

All such areas across the country were regularly being monitored and identified by the National Command Center, Dr. Atta told.

He also added that till breakthrough in this regard, the spread of coronavirus could only be controlled by strictly following the SOPs and advisory of the Federal as well as provincial governments.

No specific antiviral treatment is recommended for COVID-19. Infected patients should receive supportive care to help alleviate symptoms. Vital organ function should be supported in severe cases. 

No vaccine is currently available for SARS-CoV-2. Avoidance is the principal method of deterrence.

Chloroquine inhibited the dengue virus in some cell cultures but failed to shorten the illness in a randomized study of 37 patients. And although laboratory studies suggested activity against influenza virus, chloroquine did not prevent infection in a large randomized trial.

The disparity between laboratory and clinical experiments may be partly due to the complex pharmacokinetics of 4-aminoquinolines, making it difficult to extrapolate from concentrations in culture media to doses in humans.

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