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Tags Current Affairs

India to join WHO’s COVID-19 trials

Date: 28 March 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

India has volunteered to participate in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ongoing solidarity trial for developing vaccines for Covid-19.

 

Background

WHO with its partners is organizing a study called the solidarity trial in many countries in which some of the untested treatments are compared with each other. The study has been designed to generate the robust data needed to show which treatments are the most effective.

 

Details

  • In order to look at newer drugs that might come, India is soon likely to participate in the WHO solidarity trial for COVID-19. Earlier we did not do it because our numbers were so small and contribution would have looked minuscule.

  • WHO’s multi-country solidarity trials aims to isolate drugs approved by regulators for other diseases that can be utilised in the Covid-19 fight. The reason already safety-tested drugs are being looked at is because these do not need lengthy clinical trials.

  • Among the drugs lined up for immediate testing are antiviral intravenous drug remdesivir, HIV combination lopinavir and ritonavir sold as Kaletra; and anti-malarial chloroquine, and a related drug, hydroxychloroquine.

  • Many countries, including Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and Thailand, have already confirmed that they will join the solidarity trial, according to WHO.

  • WHO has also created a Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, to help provide protective equipment for front-line health workers, equip diagnostic laboratories, improve surveillance and data collection, establish and maintain intensive care units.

  • It also aims to strengthen supply chains, accelerate research and development of vaccines and therapeutics, and take other critical steps to scale up the public health response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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