CAPE TOWN - South Africa is participating in a public health initiative by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to conduct a clinical trial to find effective treatment for COVID-19, Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize announced on Saturday.
WHO has convened an independent group of experts to review evidence from laboratory, animal and clinical studies to prioritise treatments for inclusion in the trial.
This independent group identified the following treatment options for inclusion in the trial:
- Remdesivir : a drug which was previous used in an Ebola trial;
- Lopinavir/ritonavir : a licensed treatment for HIV/AIDS
- Lopinavir/ritonavir with interferon beta-1a : used for multiple sclerosis;
- Chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine : drugs used to treat malaria and rheumatology conditions respectively.
All participating countries will adhere to the same methodology in order to facilitate the worldwide comparison of unproven treatments. Other countries that have already confirmed their participation in this trial are Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand.
"The South African Solidarity research team is led by Professors Helen Rees and Jeremy Nel, working 30 senior academics, researchers and clinicians from eight medical schools in the country (WITS, SMU, UP, UCT, Stellenbosch, NMU, UKZN, UFS, and the SA Military Health Service). They will be undertaking the study in 14 leading hospitals across the country," said Mkhize