Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference on the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS-Denis Balibouse-File Photo

The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday said that in developing an effecting regimen for the treatment of COVID-19, it is not trying out new drugs but repurposing available ones to determine their effect on the virus.

It also said it is still at the information gathering stage of the multi-country solidarity trial which should ultimately lead to a most effective formulation for treating COVID-19.

The Country Representative of the WHO, Fiona Braka, made this known during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

According to her, “The solidarity trial is a large multi-country effort that is going on across several countries globally. We are picking up on that trial in Nigeria; some states have started while some are yet to start.

“The whole idea is that the large pool of information across countries will be systematically analysed at the global level, in addition to what is coming in from the other countries. Guidance will now be provided to countries on which formulation is more effective.

“These are not new drugs that we are trying but drugs that we already have available but are simply being repurposed for the intention of determining their effect on the coronavirus. We will keep you updated on what the timeline for the vaccine will look like. But we are still early in the process in collection of the data.”


She added: “Overall, we have relatively few cases of COVID-19 confirmed in infants, children, and those that get infected experience mild symptoms.

“However, recently, we have received reports from Europe and North America that have described a cluster of children and adolescents requiring admission to intensive care units with a multi-cystic inflammatory disorder which has some features similar to those of Kawasaki diseases and toxic shock syndrome.

“The case report has described the presentation of an acute illness encountered by hyper inflammatory syndrome that eventually leads to organ failure and shock.

“So it is essential to characterise the symptoms, it’s risk factor, understand the causality and what can be done about it. In this regards, WHO has developed preliminary case definition and case report for this multi-cystic inflammatory disorder in children and adolescent.

“We will try to collect information systematically from countries that are observing these and provide more information to the public on whether we see this as a real linkage and what exactly is the cause, what are the risk factors and the appropriate management.”

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