THE coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic has given rise to several slogans to describe the direction being taken to fight the spread of the virus and to motivate others to participate.
“We heal as one” is the line being used by some government agencies about their Covid-19 measures. It is also the title of the song composed by national artist for music Ryan Cayabyab for frontliners.
“Bayanihan” for working together and “Bayanihan to Heal as One” is the title of the law that was passed in March that granted President Rodrigo Duterte the authority to come up with emergency measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. These are among the slogans created in the past weeks.
Now comes “Solidarity” or “Solidarity trials” to refer to the international campaign for clinical trials to help find an effective treatment for the Covid-19, launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners. The WHO website at who.int says the “Solidarity trial” will compare four treatment options against the standard of care, to assess their relative effectiveness against the virus.
By having patients in multiple countries included in the trial, the campaign hopes to discover soon whether any of the drugs slow disease progression or improve survival. “Until there is sufficient evidence, the WHO cautions against physicians and medical associations recommending or administering these unproven treatments to patients with Covid-19 or people self-medicating with them,” it said.
It added that the WHO is concerned about reports of individuals self-medicating with chloroquine and causing themselves serious harm. Better to wait for the approved treatment.
In Cebu, the good news is that three hospitals have been added to the list of institutions allowed to do the “Solidarity trial.” These are the Perpetual Succour Hospital, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital.
A press release by the Perpetual Succour Hospital Institutional Ethics Review Board (PSH-IERB) said these three Cebu hospitals are now part of the International Public Health Emergency Covid Solidarity clinical trial joined in by more than 100 countries.
Four therapies will be used in the trial, namely, the antiviral Remdesivir, antimalarial drug Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine, antiretroviral drugs used to treat human immunodeficiency viruses Lopinavir with Ritonavir, and Lopinavir with Ritonavir plus Interferon beta-1a. These drugs will be given to serious Covid-19 patients to find out the one that works.
Health OIC-Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire has said, “We are optimistic that this mega trial will promote the rapid generation of strong evidence for treating Covid-19, and ultimately stem this pandemic.”
The result of these trials is what the world is looking forward to as countries ease up restrictions but continue to be fearful of new waves of infection until a vaccine or a treatment for the Covid-19 can be discovered.
This solidarity among nations intent on finding a cure is probably the last ingredient necessary to achieve the goal.