UN health chief announces global ‘solidarity trial’ to jumpstart search for COVID-19 treatment
19 March 2020
Just 60 days after the genetic sequence of COVID-19 was shared by China, the first vaccine trial has begun, the UN health chief said on Wednesday, calling it “an incredible achievement” and urging the world to maintain “the same spirit of solidarity” that has helped fight Ebola.
He explained that because multiple small trials of the coronavirus vaccine with different methodologies may not provide the evidence needed, WHO and partners are organizing a study to compare untested treatments throughout several countries.
“This large, international study is designed to generate the robust data we need to show which treatments are the most effective”, said the WHO chief. “We have called this study the SOLIDARITY trial”.
And to date, Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand have confirmed that their participation.
“To suppress and control epidemics, countries must isolate, test, treat and trace”, he said, otherwise “transmission chains can continue at a low level, then resurge once physical distancing measures are lifted”.