• Scientists in a race to discover new coronavirus treatment
  • Research teams beginning to show signs of progress in COVID-19 fight
  • Phase II of human testing on a new drug to begin anytime soon

A British scientific research team was given the green light yesterday to commence Phase 2 human testing of a drug that might help COVID-19 patients fight the infection. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed that PHE is also close to perfecting an antibody test that is sure to become a game-changer for COVID-19 diagnosis.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, revealed that the work of Public Health England on the antibody test is developing rapidly. Once complete, it will provide health experts with valuable insight into the global pandemic.

coronavirus drug clinical trial
coronavirus drug trial Science in HD - Unsplash

A Game Changer

It is a game-changer, according to Sir Patrick. It will allow the scientific community to understand the percentage of the population who had been infected yet did not have symptoms. He added that it is very important to efficiently monitor the disease because by being able to do so, health experts would be able to predict its progression. Once they can do that, the government can again relax the measures a bit.

This developed as the death toll in the UK increased by 33, bringing the total to 104 deaths. As part of the government’s new measures, officials announced that schools would close starting tomorrow. It is also believed that London will be subject to a lockdown soon to slow down the spread of the virus.

Mr. Johnson said up to 25,000 people will soon be tested for the virus in the hospitals daily. The government recently asked health officials and hospitals to ramp up their testing.

Dire Statistics

There are now 219,357 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections worldwide, of which 8,970 already died. On the bright side, 85,745 patients have already recovered, though there are still 124,642 active cases, 6,814 of which are in critical condition.

China remains to be the hardest hit with 80,928 confirmed cases and 3,245 deaths. It is followed by Italy, which suffered a huge spike in deaths of 475 in the last 24 hours, bringing its total to 2,978 deaths out of 35,713 confirmed cases. Iran is the third nation hardest hit by COVID-19, with 17,361 confirmed cases and 1,135 deaths.

A Global Effort

All over the world, scientists have been working round the clock to find a cure for COVID-19. Scientific teams in the US, the UK, Japan, China, Australia, and elsewhere are now in the process of conducting clinical trials of the drugs they developed.

A scientific team from Southampton University has joined in this global effort. They are developing a drug they call SNG001 designed to help chronic lung disease patients fight off viruses. The team believed their drug would have the same effect on patients infected with COVID-19. Starting next week, around 50 patients in ten hospitals will be given the inhaled drug, and another 50 will be given a placebo. If proven effective, the drug could be made available for wider use within a few months.