Even as the world awaits the elusive Corona Virus vaccine, and Kenya inches towards the 5000 confirmed cases mark (current tally at 4738), things are getting real.
The total deaths have crossed 120 mark (123) while recovered is at 1607. As a Kenyan, I am worried about my family and loved ones as there seems to be no concrete treatment available. I have been reading up on the various treatments that are being tried/available in the other counties and it seems for a change Kenya is not alone in this conundrum.
Every day the tally of coronavirus patients keeps rising and it seems we keep breaking our own records of highest confirmed cases on a daily basis. The pandemic has taken an economic and emotional toll on people.
As I write this, I know of a lot of households that have seen someone lose their job and are struggling to maintain their normal lives, or even to put food on the table. While the world looks at each other for a possible vaccine, treatments are being discussed by the medical fraternity.
One of the many being discussed that I stumbled upon is Favipiravir which is being touted as a potential antiviral drug for the treatment of COVID-19. Many countries have already approved favipiravir for emergency use. It is the first and only drug that got approval for COVID-19 (approved for COVID-19 in Russia).
India’s drug regulator has approved the manufacturing and marketing of the oral antiviral drug Favipiravir for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients as well as for restricted emergency use in the country.
The drug has demonstrated an encouraging response in mild to moderate COVID-19 patients during clinical trials. Moreover, it is orally administered, and so it serves as a more convenient treatment option over other intravenously administered medications. Because it is given in early intervention, it reduces strain on the healthcare system, with fewer people getting into a critical condition, and for a significant number of people, it is said to eliminate the virus within 10 days. As I read more about it, it seems that some media reports are calling it a ‘game-changer’ vis-a-vis early intervention treatment of Covid-19 in mild to moderate symptoms.
However, it comes with its own challenges. Pregnant women and people who have kidney or liver issues are advised to avoid it. Nevertheless, some of the medical professionals/organizations have called it a ‘most promising anti-COVID-19 drug in the world’ according to an article by DailyMail.
While countries like the UAE, Turkey, Egypt, India, Russia, China, and Japan have already started using it, I hope our authorities are taking note of this development. Obviously there are other drugs being discussed like hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir and I am hoping that our medical fraternity is looking at the world outside and taking cues from there as we really need to get back to our lives without fear of getting ill.
So while I read more about these treatments, I wish everyone safe and healthy days ahead.