ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on Friday decided to start the clinical trials of coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment on moderately ill patients in the federal capital with the Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) approved medicines.

The clinical trials will be conducted on the ‘mild to moderate’ patients with the collaboration of University of Health Sciences (UHS) and ShaheedZulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU).

According to the National Command and Control Center (NCCC) data, the number of COVID-19 patients in the federal capital has reached 154 with one death. Fifteen patients out of the total number are admitted in PIMS.

A statement released by PIMS media coordinator Dr. WaseemKhawaja said that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between UHS, SZABMU and PIMS for collaboration on various aspects of research in COVID-19.

It said that SZABMU and PIMS will be part of the ‘Protect’ study group which has been launched nationwide in more than 20 centers.

The statement added that the trial aims at various treatment modalities for COVID-19 and will be the largest trial to date. International community is looking towards Pakistan for the results and interim results will be available in six weeks.

It also said collaboration will also continue in other aspects like vaccine development and convalescent plasma infusion and it was also decided that a clinical trial unit will be established at SZABMU/PIMS.

Vice Chancellor SZABMU Prof. Dr. TanvirKhaliq talking to The Nation said that the clinical trials on patients are initiative of VC UHS Prof. Dr. JavedAkram and SZABMU is part of the collaboration with 15 other universities.

He said that around 5,000 patients will be enrolled for the trails in the country and clinical results will come in three to six months.

“One patient has been enrolled at PIMS also,” he said.

VC SZABMU also said that the trails will be conducted on modern to mild patients of COVID-19 admitted in hospital and isolated at homes also.

Head of Infectious Disease Department PIMS Dr. Naseem informed The Nation that MoU has been signed and patients are being assessed for the clinical trials.

She said that there is no shortage of medicines, however enrollment will be done keeping in mind the safety and health of the patients, which is the primary concern during the trails.

“Trails will be done both on patients admitted in hospital and isolated at homes,” said Dr. Naseem.

VC UHS Prof. Dr. JavedAkram talking to The Nation said that clinical trials of COVID-19 treatment are being done worldwide and enrolment of patients in Pakistan has also started.

He said that the clinical trials are being started following the due protocol which involves the role of different agencies and DRAP as well. He said that the DRAP’s approved anti-malarial and anti-viral medicines will be used for the treatment.

DRAP recently approved seven anti-viral medicines including Chloroquine Phos-phate, Erythromycin, HydroxycholoquineSulphate, Lopinavir& Ritonavir, Oseltamivir and Ascorbic acid.

He said that the trails have already started in other parts of the country and now PIMS and SZABMU have also become its part.

“It will not be done on critical patients as passive immunization process is being discussed for the clinically critical patients,” he said.