Coronavirus has not only closed the borders, but set high demands for evidence-based medicine. As the World Health Organization develops a specific treatment protocol for COVID-19, each country uses its own method and expertise to achieve the goal of defeating coronavirus and stopping the pandemic.
We will now talk about therapy and drugs for the virus people use worldwide.
6 Main drugs against Coronavirus Today
A universal cure for coronavirus has not yet been found. The most promising are already known drugs for malaria and HIV. WHO has not yet approved the COVID-19 treatment protocol, but has selected the drugs that showed positive results.
- Hydroxychloroquine (antimalarial);
- Chloroquine (antimalarial drug);
- Lopinavir (used against HIV infections);
- Ritonavir (cure for HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis C);
- Remidavir (new antiviral drug);
- Tocilizumab (immunosuppressant, preparation for arthritis).
However, it’s not that simple. China, for example, has not proven the efficacy of HIV drugs for coronavirus. And the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends Chloroquine, "advertised" by Trump. But there’s no time, so the paramedics have to check the efficacy of the drugs as they go
Let’s take a look at the COVID-19 treatment strategies that apply both countries which have already weakened the quarantine and those that still have high death rate because of the virus.
China takes the 6th place in the number of infected people
On 7 April, for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, the country that launched this tragic "flash mob" recorded no deaths from coronavirus. And while authoritative international publications question Chinese statistics, so far, the official figures are as follows: more than 3,300 dead, 82,924 infected, and 77,700 have recovered.
The Chinese all over the world set an example of mobility and rapid response to the problem by building a special hospital with 1,000 places in Wuhan within 10 days.
While treating patients with coronavirus infections, Chinese physicians noted a Japanese drug that is used effectively for new strains of influenza.
Science and Technology Ministry of China representative, Zhang Shinmin, stated that the antiviral drug Favipiravir (Avigan) showed positive results in clinical trials involving 340 patients in Wuhan and Shenzhen.
"He has a high degree of security and is clearly effective " said Zhang.
Patients, taking the medicine in Shenzhen, were tested negative for coronavirus four days after the infection, and it took 11 days for those, who did not take the medicine.
In addition, X-rays showed an improvement in lung condition in 91% of cases after Favipiravir therapy, compared to 62% improvements without it.
The drug is awaiting Japanese approval for full-scale use on patients with COVID-19. It’s likely to be used worldwide in May.
Lopinavir and Ritonavir are drugs related to protease enzyme inhibitors used for HIV-positive therapy. They have also proven effective against SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, which cause severe acute and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome. This was also reported by Chinese scholars in a study published by The Lancet.
Specialists suggested using the Lopinavir-Ritonavir combination for coronavirus as well.
Germany takes the 5th place in the number of infected people
Germans showed supernatural unity and cohesion in the fight against the Coronavirus, following the call of Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of the country. They adopted strict quarantine rules that slowed down the spread of the virus. The Germans thus gained time both to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 and to care for those who became ill. Figures as at 10 April: 2,607 dead, 118,235 earnings, 63,221 ailments, 52,407 recoveries.
Germany will test the efficacy of the Ebola virus drug for coronavirus treatment. In particular, Schwabing Clinic, University Hospitals in Hamburg and Düsseldorf are conducting experiments with an antiviral agent called Remdesivir, which is effective against Ebola and Marburg viruses.
"Remdesivir is an analogue of a genetic material piece. The principle of action is that a viral polymerase absorbs the substance, embeds it into a growing nucleic acid chain, and the chain stops growth, inhibiting the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus" according to Russian molecular bioengineer Konstantin, who explained how the drug works.
France takes the 4th place in the number of infected people
Here, the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus epidemic has not reached its peak yet, and the situation is only worsening, according to Olivier Veran, the country’s Minister of Health. Statistics on coronavirus in France as at 10 April: 117,749 infected, 12,210 deaths, 23,206 patients, 82,333 patients.
France has spoken out against Ibuprofen. French Ministry of Health and Social Security call for not using it to reduce high temperature. According to doctors, it diminishes the symptoms, like any other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent. Because of this, coronavirus infection is spreading.
It is also true that there are no clinical studies linking Ibuprofen to increased coronavirus mortality, so far.
On the basis of the up-to-date information, WHO does not refuse to take ibuprofen", the organization stated and noted that, apart from the known side effects, there are no other negative effects of taking ibuprofen on patients with COVID-19.
French physicians have suggested treating coronavirus with plasma.
"The plasma of those, who have recovered, contains the antibodies that could help patients in the acute phase of the disease to win the fight against the virus," according to the state organization Assistance publique - Hopitaux de Paris (AP-HP).
Italy takes the 3nd place in the number of infected people
Italy has long ignored common rules of dealing with coronavirus, rejecting quarantine and pandemic security measures. As at 10 April, 143,626 people were infected, 18,279 deaths, 28,470 recovered, 96,877 were ill.
First of all, it should be noted that doctors in Italy have refused using aerosols and corticosteroid drugs in treatment COVID-19. They also opposed all antipyretics except paracetamol.
COVID-19 is treated with a range of drugs, particularly for malaria (PLAQUENIL) and sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, Italians do not prohibit reasonable portions of alcohol, carry out disinfectant activities with chlorinated substances in large quantities and use quartering. It’s a coronavirus treatment protocol in Italy.
PLAQUENIL, which blocks APF2 receptors, is used for chest pain and cough as well as pneumonia. For the prophylaxis and treatment of pneumonia - Azithromycin. In severe cases of pneumonia, the medics use Tocilizumab.
Spain takes the 2nd place in the number of infected people
Having purchased unreliable (exact by only 30%) coronavirus tests from China, Spain lost time.
The Spanish now use a coronavirus treatment plan identical to the Italian protocols.
USA takes the 1st place in the number of infected people
It took a long time for Donald Trump to accept that the quarantine was irreversible. But on April 10, the US president announced a peak in coronavirus infection. Vice President Mike Pence, however, reported that the situation had begun to stabilize in New York and Denver, as well as in Louisiana. Statistics on COVID-19 is tragic: 469 421 infected, 16,710 dead, 25,937 recovered, 426,774 sick.
In the treatment of coronavirus, the United States intend to use Chloroquine, developed in 1934 in Germany as a drug for malaria. The drug is known for its anti-cancer properties. It runs a cell death (apoptosis) program for cancer cells. The same mechanism is effective for treating viral infections, so chloroquine has been tested as a countermeasure of SARS-Cov-2.
Chinese and American experts conducted studies of Chloroquine and its derivatives. However, Donald Trump hastened to announce the efficacy of Chloroquine against the coronavirus: too little research had been done to claim a positive outcome. Therefore, Hydroxychloroquine or any other Chloroquine derivative for the treatment of coronavirus infection, under American law, has not yet been formally approved.
Russia takes 17th place in the number of infected people
The country was under quarantine, even the streets in Moscow were deserted, according to the rules. As at April 10, the statistics on coronavirus in Russia are as follows: 11,917 infected, 94 deaths, 795 recovered, 11,028 ill.
Physicians are experimenting with new and emerging guidelines for coronavirus. Following Chinese and American doctors, Russian specialists have identified several drugs that can be recommended for use, including Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir and Ritonavir, and interferon drugs.
They’re also testing Favipiravir in Russia. And they’re also working on the structure of the complete coronavirus genome. In their view, the operational genetic analysis of SARS-Cov-2 viruses is essential for understanding the evolution of the new coronavirus and its dynamics.
Japan takes 29th place in the number of infected people
Most recently, on 7 April, a state of emergency was declared in Tokyo and several prefectures for a period of one month due to the coronavirus pandemic. The statistics as at April 10 is: 5,530 infected, 99 deaths, 685 recovered and 4,746 ill.
In the treatment of coronavirus infection, the Japanese use the antiviral drug Favipiravir. As reported above, it is being successfully tested in China and is showing good results in Japan. The drug prevents the reproduction of certain viruses and reduces their duration by improving lungs condition. SARS-Cov-2 is one of the viruses that Favipiravir can fight.
General COVID-19 treatment algorithm in all countries
Supportive care is performed. During hospitalization, patients take EKG, urine and blood tests, blood glucose levels are also measured. In the case of a severe stage of coronavirus infection, artificial lung ventilation equipment is used.
Antibiotics, antifungal medications may also be used if necessary.