Despite almost annually of its worldwide invasion the SARS-Cov-2 virus called COVID-19 continues to take pleasure from a benefit over humankind which can be not surprising thinking about the unprecedented crisis brought in by a virus hardly known 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 information search, is never an event to accept defeat, and therefore, the quest has been relentlessly going on all over for a successful vaccine, and meanwhile intent research on anti-viral or anti-malarial repurposed drugs, plasma therapy and other possible types of treatment. The main concern of all 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’s no cure for the disease. Various vaccine projects in several stages of development are in full swing in several countries with a lot of them promising a vaccine by the new year day or early next year. Now, the newest disappointing developments on treatment methods practiced so far have posed probably the most relevant question: is a successful vaccine only hope for humankind?
The majority 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 likely 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 were some other drugs and steroids that were combined with seemingly hopeful results, Remdesivir being the main one most welcomed one as a life-saver.
The results of the Solidarity Clinical Trial, one of many largest international Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT), that’s been conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) since March 2020 were declared recently which marked four of the very promising drugs as ineffective in reducing mortality. The four evaluated treatment methods, HCQ, Remdesivir, Lopinavir or Ritonavir and Interferon, have been found to have little or no effect on mortality rates. In terms of the RCTs conducted in several countries of the planet including in China are involved there have been doubts on their findings, and experts wish 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 prevent using Remdesivir claiming its benefits within the months in their patients. However, technically, this means that except for 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), so far permitted as 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. Over the months it has been progressed into an organized treatment method creating proper channels of donations over the states as infected doctors too managed to get a point out donate the precious plasma.
The Director General of the ICMR declared the outcome on 20th October 2020 after conducting a unique RCT during April-July period of the year covering over 400 hospitals across 39 medical centers of the country. Based on the results the ICMR has concluded that the CPT fails to cut back the mortality rates or avoid the progression of COVID-19 infections from moderate to severe stages. Following this finding the Government of India is mulling removal of CPT from its COVID-19 protocol for national clinical management. This is indeed sad news as CPT is a huge extremely popular approach to COVID-19 treatment in the lack of a successful vaccine.
Experts, however, aren’t convinced concerning the CPT results saying that it could experienced related to the delay of the infusion and the grade of the antibodies. Internationally, the CPT continues to be cure method meant just for emergency use. Anyway, in view of all these findings the significance of discovering a successful vaccine grows even more. The pandemic is not even close to keeping its clutches off humankind yet: after over 6 months of haphazard acceleration India has finally reached its peak in the next week of September 2020 with new cases still hovering around fifty thousand a day and 500+ daily deaths as 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 full 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. Proficient 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.