Ayub Medical Teaching Institute Abbottabad has become a part of global COVID-19 treatment research.
It is expected that the hospital will initiate clinical trials to cure the virus using chloroquine, a drug widely used to cure malaria.
Reports had shown that chloroquine helps in treating COVID-19. That has yet to be confirmed, however. Several researchers are conducting worldwide trials to find out whether the drug works on those who suffer from the novel coronavirus.
The United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) approved the study and gave permission for clinical trials to be performed to the hospital.
The research will be conducted by the institution’s dean Dr Umer Farooq.
He said there is no cure for COVID-19 yet because of which various tests are being carried out. There was some evidence in China that chloroquine assisted in the treatment process, which is inexpensive and easy to access.
“We are only going to test if the medicine really helps or not,” he remarked.
Explaining the procedure for the clinical trials, he said three groups of patients would be created. Only one group is given chloroquine, the second is given chloroquine and erythromycin, while the third group is treated with conventional methods.
“We will ensure that no person with cardiac disease participates in the trials,” he said, adding that all patients should be closely monitored and that if anyone has side effects they should avoid taking the drug.
“This can prove to be a game changer if the trials are proven to be successful,” the doctor added.
He also urged people not to take any medication unless their physician ordered them to.