Despite almost per year of its worldwide invasion the SARS-Cov-2 virus called COVID-19 continues to savor an edge over humankind which will be not surprising considering the unprecedented crisis brought in by a disease hardly recognized to anybody, its seemingly selective approach when it comes to mildness or severity of the infection, baffling all medical scientists and doctors. Humankind, in its present very advanced stage of the data search, is never an event to accept defeat, and therefore, the quest has been relentlessly going on throughout for a powerful vaccine, and in the meantime intent research on anti-viral or anti-malarial repurposed drugs, plasma therapy and other possible types of treatment. The priority of most efforts being at least to reduce the mortality rates which also differ country-wise and inexplicably, and till today it has been an accepted fact that there’s no remedy for the disease. Various vaccine projects in a variety of stages of development have been in full swing in a variety of countries with most of them promising a vaccine by the brand new year day or early next year. Now, the latest disappointing developments on treatment methods practiced up to now have posed the most relevant question: is a powerful vaccine only hope for humankind?
Most of us remember the desperate international craving for a basically Indian anti-malarial drug called Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) once the pandemic was raging furiously in Europe and the US, and the US President going to the extent of threatening India if supplies of HCQ were not. However, slowly with time this drug was found ineffective and a little harmful too according to natural immunity โควิด 19. Then there have been many drugs and steroids that were used with seemingly hopeful results, Remdesivir being the main one most welcomed one as a life-saver.
The outcome of the Solidarity Clinical Trial, among the largest international Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT), that has been conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) since March 2020 were declared recently which marked four of the most promising drugs as ineffective in reducing mortality. The four evaluated treatment methods, HCQ, Remdesivir, Lopinavir or Ritonavir and Interferon, have been found to own little if any impact on mortality rates. So far as the RCTs conducted in a variety of countries of the entire world including in China are involved there have been doubts on their findings, and experts want for more such studies. Objections were raised contrary to the Solidarity Trial too as regards to its sampling methodology from various quarters, with one Indian hospital refusing to avoid using Remdesivir claiming its benefits within the months inside their patients. However, technically, it indicates that aside from Corticosteroids that have been proven effective in treating critical patients there is no other deemed treatment method, and additionally it should be remembered that steroids aren’t recommended for less-severe or general patients.
More disappointing news came next from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on the efficacy of the Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT), up to now permitted being an investigational therapy in progressive stages of the disease in India, which involves taking out blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients and injecting this antibody-rich extract into positive patients, specially the more severe ones treated in hospitals. Over the months it has been developed into an organized treatment method creating proper channels of donations across the states as infected doctors too managed to get an indicate donate the precious plasma.
The Director General of the ICMR declared the outcomes on 20th October 2020 after conducting its RCT during April-July amount of the season covering over 400 hospitals across 39 medical centers of the country. Based on the results the ICMR has figured the CPT fails to reduce the mortality rates or avoid the progression of COVID-19 infections from moderate to severe stages. Following this locating the Government of India is mulling removal of CPT from its COVID-19 protocol for national clinical management. This really is indeed sad news as CPT is a extremely popular method of COVID-19 treatment in the absence of a powerful vaccine.
Experts, however, aren’t convinced concerning the CPT results saying that it may experienced to do with the delay of the infusion and the quality of the antibodies. Internationally, the CPT continues to be a treatment method meant limited to emergency use. Anyway, because of most these findings the importance of discovering a powerful vaccine grows even more. The pandemic is far from keeping its clutches off humankind yet: after over 6 months of haphazard acceleration India has finally reached its peak in the 3rd week of September 2020 with new cases still hovering around fifty thousand per day and 500+ daily deaths while the European countries and the US are experiencing another wave.
Chinmay Chakravarty is really a professional specialized in the creative field with over 2 decades of experience in journalistic writing, media co-ordination, film script writing, film dubbing, film & video making, management of international film festivals and editing of books & journals. Experienced in providing professional services in these related fields. Was an officer of Indian Information Service and superannuated from the post of Director, Press Information Bureau, Kolkata in November, 2019. Published his first solo book’Laugh and Let Laugh’in 2017.