According to Johns Hopkins University, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than 297,197 deaths worldwide. The number of infected patients and deaths increases with every passing day. The number of recoveries pales in comparison to the number of deaths and infections. Even though the WHO (World Health Organization) had warned people about the pandemic in January 2020, not many realized its significance at that time.
The United Nations estimated that this pandemic has a chance to hurt the world economy by about 3.2% annually. Most people speculate that the probable economic impact of this situation is comparable to the Great Depression of the 1930s, which resulted in poverty for 34.3 million people, and greatly affected people in Africa in particular. Medical and healthcare initiatives are being taken to address this pandemic and come up with a solution.
Ricky Sayegh MD talks about clinical trials and medical initiatives
In response to the global pandemic emergency, laboratories around the world are conducting clinical trials so that they can find a solution to this problem. People globally await a vaccine or cure. Based on the data gathered on April 21, 2020, over 500 clinical trials were registered at multiple national and international trial registry sites. The varied findings from all the clinical trials was also published on April 21, 2020. These studies aimed to understand the efficiency of the medicine lopinavir-ritonavir in comparison to hydroxychloroquine.
Ricky Sayegh MD, a medical specialist, mentioned the clinical trials where lopinavir-ritonavir and Favipiravir were compared with Arbidol. Other randomized clinical trials researched hydroxychloroquine and compared it to a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. There have been more than 300 clinical trials where several participants were enrolled to investigate multiple therapies, for example:
- IL-6 inhibitors that is Sarilumab and Tocilizumab
- Stem-cell transfusion
- Vaccine candidates
- Convalescent plasma therapy
- Directly acting traditional Chinese medicines
The majority of these utilize methods that efficiently provide compact data compared to the standard care, according to local novel coronavirus treatment guidelines. But on the other hand, there will be other random clinical trials, too, which will show high profile interventions as well.
Addressing the need of the hour
Based on the speed at which the trial data and findings show up, it’s essential to keep track of the clinical trials. It is also essential to avoid pointless replication of the initiatives and better understand where and how the clinical trials are taking place. There is a clinical trial registry to extract data from the trials. Today, crucial data is obtained from the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, which is composed of:
- Clinical Research Information Service – Republic of Korea.
- Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials.
- German Clinical Trials Register.
- Japan Primary Registries Network.
Today, both manual and automated searches are done to make sure there are less duplicated entries and that the research operations are conducted accurately. The leading healthcare providers and research authorities have also made use of AI (Artificial Intelligence), to come up with unique data search procedures to recognize potential clinical studies that don’t get recorded in the clinical trial registries. The use of AI processes helps to save time and ensures complete accuracy. These are the current ways that people are continuing to research to arrive at a potential cure for COVID-19.