Source: India Today
As some Western studies found hydroxychloroquine ineffective as a potential Covid-19 therapy, a new Chinese research has reported that the anti-malarial drug brought down mortality rates significantly among critical coronavirus patients.
The latest preprint study — which means it’s not yet peer-reviewed — is based on the clinical analysis of 568 Covid-19 cases at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, the initial epicentre of the pandemic, between February 1 and April 8.
Funded by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, Nature Science Foundation and Ma Yun Foundation, the research is sent to the Science China Life Sciences journal for peer-reviewing.
According to this research, all patients under the clinical analysis received comparable basic treatments, including antiviral and antibiotic drugs, and 48 of them received oral HCQ therapy for seven-ten days additionally.
The mortality rate in the HCQ group stood at 18.8 percent against 43.5 percent in the non-HCQ group, the study noted.
“Hydroxychloroquine treatment is significantly associated with a decreased mortality in critically-ill Covid-19 patients,” the researchers wrote.
The study claims to “demonstrate that hydroxychloroquine application is associated with a decreased risk of death in critically-ill Covid-19 patients without obvious toxicity”.
It recommends that “hydroxychloroquine should be considered a primary option to apply to treat critically-ill Covid-19 patients, which could save lives during the current Covid-19 pandemic”.
The Chinese researchers, however, also suggest that despite their findings, the randomized double-blind-control study was needed to provide stronger evidence.Comparison of HCQ and non-HCQ treatments at Tongji Hospital, Wuhan. (Source: Bo Yu, et al.)
Mixed Results Elsewhere
Turkey, which has made HCQ a part of standard Covid-19 treatment, has more than a million cases but has managed to keep the number of deaths much less than in the European countries.
Encouraged by the results, Turkey is now relaxing some of the lockdown measures.
HCQ treatment, said Istanbul University President Nuri Aydin, is “one of the main steps” in Covid-19 treatment. “…the second is isolation,” news reports quoted Dr Aydin as having said.
In the US, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons found there are “about 90 percent chances of HCQ helping Covid-19 patients”.
But another retrospective study associated with the US veterans claimed that the treatment had no positive effect on the 97 patients given HCQ doses.
In another study published in the May issue of The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), researchers from the Harvard Medical School concluded that HCQ was ineffective against Covid-19.
US drug regulators on Friday gave emergency-use authorization for COVID-19 treatment to anti-Ebola drug remdesivir, whereas several US hospitals continue to use HCQ to treat coronavirus patients.
In India, HCQ remains the first line of therapeutic defence in the battle against Covid-19.
India, meantime, raised the production of HCQ tablets to 30 crore in April from 12.23 crore a month before.
Several countries including Brazil, Israel, Australia, Canada continue to use HCQ in Covid-19 cases.
See related official Study: China study of 568 critically ill Covid-19 patients: Hydroxychloroquine treatment significantly associated with a decreased mortality, through attenuation of inflammatory cytokine storm.