It’s no secret that this COVID-19 pandemic has definitely caught everyone off guard and has divulged the massive lapses in healthcare facilities across the globe. Third world countries were always going to struggle with the pandemic but the way this virus has humbled the first world nations and the best healthcare facilities of the world is quite astounding. So, understandably the world is desperate of finding a cure of the infection caused by this nasty bug.
This week Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine drug trials have begun in Brighton and Oxford to see their effects on disease caused by novel Coronavirus.
Remember, Hydroxychloroquine is the same drug that POTUS Donald Trump dubbed as the possible treatment of COVID-19 a couple of months back and people started taking and hoarding the drug. So much so that in no time there was a shortage the drug in most countries.
Even as recently as this month Trump divulged that he was taking Hydroxychloroquine as a precautionary measure against the virus, despite public health officials repeatedly warning it may be unsafe as its side effects like cardiac arrhythmias are dangerous .So you should not be taking the drug without a doctor’s prescription.
This anti-malarial drug which is used prophylactically against malaria is believed to have some effect against the virus and it’s hoped that this trial will give us its evidence.
The “COPCOV” study, wich began on Thursday, will involve more than 40,000 healthcare workers from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. All the participants of this trial are staff who are in contact with COVID-19 patients. These participants will be given either hydroxychloroquine or a placebo for three months. At sites in Asia, participants will be given chloroquine or a placebo.
This University of Oxford-led trial of two anti-malarial drugs to see if they can prevent COVID-19 is a silver lining in these dark times. The trial is open to anyone delivering direct care to coronavirus patients in the UK, as long as they have not been diagnosed with COVID-19. It will test whether the drugs can prevent healthcare workers exposed to the virus from contracting it or not.
Regarding the effect of these anti-malarial drugs against COVID-19 , University of Oxford’s Professor Nicholas White who’s also the co-principal investigator of this trial said this:
“We really don’t know if chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are beneficial or harmful against COVID-19. The best way to find out if they are effective in preventing COVID-19 is in a randomized clinical trial.”
The study which involves researches from several countries will be watched very keenly by scientific world. The results of this study are expected by the end of the year. Let’s hope we get some good news.