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Image courtesy of statnews.com

Syeda Saberi

News Editor

The WHO announced Solidarity, an international clinical trial for COVID-19. In Solidarity, multiple laboratories around the world will be testing positive COVID-19 patients and sending their evidence to WHO to speed up the process for a treatment. Multiple drugs are being tested and WHO is doing their best to put rumors at rest.

Recently, BCG popped up on everyone’s newsfeed as a vaccine that could protect individuals from COVID-19. The WHO has announced that they are investigating these claims but as of now, the data does not support that BCG has any specific relevance to COVID-19. On April 11th, the WHO stated the following on their website:

“…authors compared the incidence of COVID-19 cases in countries where the BCG vaccine is used with countries where it is not used and observed that countries that routinely used the vaccine in neonates had less reported cases of COVID-19 to date…”

The WHO updated its ongoing evidence review of the major scientific databases and clinical trial repositories, using English, French and Chinese search terms for COVID-19, coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 and BCG.

Science magazine published an article that discussed the possibility of re-purposing previous drugs such as those used for malaria and HIV. Remdesivir an antiviral, and chloroquine a malaria medication was used in recent trials against COVID-19. The drugs were found to inhibit SARS and MERS and researchers state that there are high hopes for it inhibiting the replication of COVID-19. Remdesevir has been tested on COVID-19 patients in America, China, and Europe and Shibo Jiang of Fudan university states that “Remdesivir has the best potential,”. Drawback of this drug are still being tested and WHO has not stated that Remdesevir will be the treatment option for all COVID-19 patients.