A Saudi government official announced that two labs in the Kingdom worked on research for potential vaccines for COVID-19; it infected more than 25,000 people in Saudi Arabia.
Seven hospitals are carrying out lab tests for medicine that may treat patients infected with COVID-19, said Dr. Abdullah Asiri; Assistant Deputy Minister for Preventive Health at the Ministry of Health, during a press conference in Riyadh on Sunday.
He said that the Saudi clinical trial, launched on Saturday, aimed at testing a number of effective-proved treatment protocols in preliminary testing; whether at labs or in previous studies on volunteers.
WHO-led global alliance
The studies are part of WHO-led global alliance launched weeks ago. This is to speed up research that could cure coronavirus patients, he also said. He spoke of four protocols; three of which are antiviral drugs to treat various viruses with a variety of uses.
It remains to be seen whether they will be effective against COVID-19, which is what persuaded Saudi Arabia to join the alliance, in addition to several other nations, to test these drugs, Asiri said.
He also added that COVID-19 patients with respiratory infections, receive treatment in one of seven hospitals taking part in the study. They will share in the clinical trial to determine how effective these drugs are.
The duration of the study will vary depending on how responsive the patients are to the treatment, he continued.
“We expect to receive preliminary results within a few weeks. They will help us determine whether these drugs are effective in treating the virus,” he stressed.
Several facilities are carrying out research outside the clinical trials, he revealed. They also include the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center; King Fahd Medical Research Center at King Abdulaziz University; Medical City at King Saud University and King Faisal Specialist Hospital.
Two labs are researching potential vaccines for COVID-19 and they have made strides in this regard, Asiri said. They are also expected to contribute in the global effort to develop an effective vaccine for the virus.