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Gujarat hospitals to join WHO’s ‘Solidarity’ clinical trial

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The trial, to be conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), at hospitals in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot, will compare the effectiveness of four drugs against COVID-19

PTI

Hospitals from four cities in Gujarat will participate in the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) ‘Solidarity’ international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19, a senior state health official has said.

The trial, to be conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) at hospitals in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot, will compare the effectiveness of four drugs and standard care on coronavirus patients, Jayanti Ravi, Principal Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Gujarat, said.

The four drug regimes to be tested on patients are — remdesivir, lopinavir, hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine and interferon, she said.

The other aspects to be assessed in such patients include improvement of health condition, mortality rate, need for ventilator support and severe drug reactions, she said.

The medical facilities selected for the trial are — BJ Medical College and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS) Medical College in Vadodara, New Civil Hospital in Surat and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Medical College in Rajkot, the official said.

Nearly 100 countries across the globe are participating in the exercise, she said.

According to WHO, four treatment options will be compared under the trial to assess their relative effectiveness against COVID-19.

“By enrolling patients in multiple countries, the solidarity trial aims to rapidly discover whether any of the (four) drugs slow disease progression or improve survival. Other drugs can be added based on emerging evidence,” the WHO says on its website.

WHO is facilitating access to thousands of treatment courses for the trial through donations from a number of manufacturers, and also inviting developers and companies to collaborate on ensuring affordability and availability of the treatment options if they prove effective, the website says.

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