Hydroxychloroquine does not reduce mortality

Participant enrollment to hydroxychloroquine arm was stopped with immediate effect

The Recovery Trial says –

‘The Recovery trial, a large randomised controlled trial in the U. K. To test five drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, has found no clinical benefit in hospitalised patients with corona virus. The trial investigators found that there was no significant benefit in mortality reduction in the intervention group, which was the primary objective.

No beneficial effects –

It then came to light that the drug did not have the desired beneficial effects. According to a release, a total of 1,542 patients were randomised to receive hydroxychloroquine for 10 days while 3,132 patients in the control arm received only standard care. The researchers found that there was “no significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality”. While mortality was 25.7% in the intervention group, the control group had 23.5% mortality, which is not statistically significant.

Huge speculation

Deputy Chief Investigator Martin Landray from the University of Oxford says: “There has been huge speculation and uncertainty about the role of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, but an absence of reliable information from large randomised trials. The preliminary results from the RECOVERY trial are quite clear — hydroxychloroquine does not reduce the risk of death among hospitalised patients with this new disease.”

Not Even Post-exposure –

Another trial found that hydroxychloroquine drug was not effective even as a post-exposure prophylaxis in asymptomatic participants who have had high-risk exposure with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Side-effects were more in the intervention group but no serious adverse events were reported.

What must schools do before reopening?

(@the_hindu_editorial)

How soon can children return to their classes? What are the risks involved?

From the flash back –

Schools in India have been shut since March 25, some from a week or two earlier, due to the novel corona-virus pandemic. With the number of COVID-19 cases spiking this week, there is a growing clamour to protect children from going to examination centres and keep them away from school for some time longer.

What are India’s school-children doing now?

There are an estimated 25 crore school-children in 15 lakh Indian schools (from the Unified District Information System for Education, or UDISE, 2018-19), who have all been at home since classes stopped across the country from March 16. Their current educational situation varies wildly, depending on age, location and socio-economic status. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has largely left the decision on how to proceed to its affiliate schools, but has promised a syllabus reduction.

When will schools reopen?

No one knows when schools can reopen. Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has said that physical reopening of schools will not take place till August 15. The Centre will announce the earliest possible date for reopening after consultation between the HRD, Health and Home Ministries, but the final call will be left to State governments. For those in containment zones, the wait may be longer, leading to worries about unequal educational opportunities among the same age cohort.

Health protocol before reopening?

The Centre is expected to release guidelines on this issue next week. HRD officials say some likely steps include temperature screening at the entrance to schools and classrooms, monitoring to ensure mask or shield-wearing and social distancing, sanitisation routines to clean all furniture and facilities, isolation and hospitalisation protocols for infected students and staff, as well as plans for staggered attendance and blended learning to limit the number of students on the premises on any given day.

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