The “worst is yet to come” given a lack of global solidarity, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, said at a briefing in Geneva on June 29.
In May, the WHO emphasized the need for a plan that includes testing for the virus and its antibodies, effective contact tracing and isolation, and community education. Antibody tests on the market that could potentially indicate a person’s immunity have been unreliable so far. Researchers and drugmakers are racing to develop treatments that could hold the key to recovery.
Gilead Sciences Inc.’s antiviral remdesivir is one of the first widely used drugs for Covid-19. It received an emergency use authorization from U.S. regulators in May, after a trial found it sped recovery by about four days in hospitalized patients. It was also part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s treatment after he tested positive for the coronavirus in early October, along with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s antibody cocktail and the generic drug dexamethasone.
Vaccines are also in development, though the study of one leading candidate from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc is on hold in the U.S. while regulators investigate a potential safety issue.