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Coronavirus: 10 countries commit to WHO’s SOLIDARITY trial

The US will not be part of a new trial led by the World Health Organization examining which treatments work best against coronavirus.

The so-called ‘SOLIDARITY trial’ will see researchers from several different countries compare the effects of different drugs on the highly-infectious disease.   

Included in the trial are remdesivir, originally conceived as a drug to fight Ebola, and an anti-malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine. 

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the organization’s director-general, said eight countries had committed to joining the trial, but that America was not among them.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, announced the agency's new 'SOLIDARITY trial' to compare the effects of different drugs on coronavirus (pictured)

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, announced the agency’s new ‘SOLIDARITY trial’ to compare the effects of different drugs on coronavirus (pictured)

Countries that have committed to joining the trial are Argentina, Canada, France, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand - but not the US. Pictured: WHO media briefing

Countries that have committed to joining the trial are Argentina, Canada, France, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand – but not the US. Pictured: WHO media briefing 

Drugs that will be tested include remdesivir, originally conceived as a drug to fight Ebola, and an anti-malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine. Pictured: A patient wears a protective face mask as she is loaded into an ambulance at The Brooklyn Hospital Center emergency room in New York, Wednesday

Drugs that will be tested include remdesivir, originally conceived as a drug to fight Ebola, and an anti-malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine. Pictured: A patient wears a protective face mask as she is loaded into an ambulance at The Brooklyn Hospital Center emergency room in New York, Wednesday

‘This large, international study is designed to generate the robust data we need, to show which treatments are the most effective,’ Dr Tedros told reporters on Wednesday.

The SOLIDARITY trial provides simplified procedures to enable even hospitals that have been overloaded to participate.’

Countries that will participate include Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand. 

Although the US wasn’t named as one of the participating nations, Dr Ghebreyesus said he ‘trust[s] many more will join.’ 

Dr Tedros also praised the generosity of the global community for contributing more than $143 million USD to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

He then encouraged countries around the world to rigorously isolate, test and treatment all suspected to prevent community spread.

Hydroxychloroquine and remdesvir are two of just several drugs being repurposed to fight coronavirus.

French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, which makes malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, is being temporarily used for the management of coronavirus. 

But the company said there is insufficient data to determine the drug’s efficacy and that any use should be considered ‘off-label.’  

In the case of remdesvir, the medication has been shown to fight against coronaviruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which is a cousin of the new virus.

More recently, it was found to help relieve symptoms in the first American coronavirus patient while he was hospitalised. 

During the press briefing, the WHO also hit back at President Donald Trump for continuing to refer to the novel coronavirus as the 'Chinese virus.' Pictured: A US health official in front of a portable bio-containment unit speaks to US passengers evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship to the US, February 17

During the press briefing, the WHO also hit back at President Donald Trump for continuing to refer to the novel coronavirus as the ‘Chinese virus.’ Pictured: A US health official in front of a portable bio-containment unit speaks to US passengers evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship to the US, February 17

During the press briefing, the WHO also hit back at President Donald Trump for continuing to refer to the novel coronavirus as the ‘Chinese virus.’

‘Viruses know no borders and they don’t care your ethnicity or the color of your skin or how much money you have in the bank,’ Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization health emergencies program, replied.

However, he stressed that experts stop pointing fingers at each other.  

‘This is a time for solidarity, this is a time for facts, this is a time to move forward together. There is no blame in this,’ Dr Ryan said.

Worldwide, more than 216,000 people have been infected and more than 8,800 people have died.

In the US, there are more than 7,800 confirmed cases in all 50 states and 121 deaths. 

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Written by Angle News

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