Even after almost a year of its worldwide invasion the SARS-Cov-2 virus called COVID-19 continues to savor a benefit over humankind that is not surprising considering the unprecedented crisis earned by a virus hardly proven to anybody, its seemingly selective approach in terms of mildness or severity of the infection, baffling all medical scientists and doctors. Humankind, in its present very advanced stage of the knowledge search, is never a party to just accept defeat, and therefore, the quest has been relentlessly going on all over for a fruitful vaccine, and meanwhile intent research on anti-viral or anti-malarial repurposed drugs, plasma therapy and other possible methods of treatment. The priority of most efforts coming to least to cut back the mortality rates which also differ country-wise and inexplicably, and till today it has been an accepted fact that there is no remedy for the disease. Various vaccine projects in various stages of development come in full swing in various countries with many of them promising a vaccine by the brand new year day or early next year. Now, the newest disappointing developments on treatment methods practiced so far have posed the absolute most relevant question: is a fruitful vaccine only expect humankind?
Most of us remember the desperate international craving for a basically Indian anti-malarial drug called Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) when the pandemic was raging furiously in Europe and the US, and the US President planning to the extent of threatening India if supplies of HCQ were not. However, slowly as time passes this drug was found ineffective and somewhat harmful too according to natural immunity โควิด 19. Then there were many drugs and steroids that have been used with seemingly hopeful results, Remdesivir being the one most welcomed one as a life-saver.
The results 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 very most promising drugs as ineffective in reducing mortality. The four evaluated treatment methods, HCQ, Remdesivir, Lopinavir or Ritonavir and Interferon, have now been found to own little if any effect on mortality rates. In terms of the RCTs conducted in various countries of the planet including in China are involved there will always be doubts on their findings, and experts feel the need for more such studies. Objections were raised from the Solidarity Trial too as regards to its sampling methodology from various quarters, with one Indian hospital refusing to prevent using Remdesivir claiming its benefits within the months within their patients. However, technically, it indicates that with the exception of Corticosteroids which were proven effective in treating critical patients there’s no other deemed treatment method, and in addition it should be remembered that steroids are not 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), so far 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, particularly the more severe ones treated in hospitals. On the months it has been resulted in a systematic treatment method creating proper channels of donations throughout the states as infected doctors too made it a point to donate the precious plasma.
The Director General of the ICMR declared the outcomes on 20th October 2020 after conducting a unique 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 cut back the mortality rates or avoid the progression of COVID-19 infections from moderate to severe stages. Following this choosing the Government of India is mulling removal of CPT from its COVID-19 protocol for national clinical management. That is indeed sad news as CPT is a huge remarkably popular approach to COVID-19 treatment in the lack of a fruitful vaccine.
Experts, however, are not convinced concerning the CPT results saying that it could have had regarding the delay of the infusion and the grade of the antibodies. Internationally, the CPT continues to be a treatment method meant only for emergency use. Anyway, in view of most these findings the significance of discovering a fruitful vaccine grows even more. The pandemic is not even close to keeping its clutches off humankind yet: after over six 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 whilst the European countries and the US are experiencing a second wave.
Chinmay Chakravarty is just 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.