Dr. Didier Raoult, an infectious diseases specialist and a prominent virologist at IHU Méditerranée Infection in Marseille, has unveiled findings of a study involving more than 1,000 novel coronavirus patients that he claims has successfully removed the virus in 10 days in almost 92 per cent of cases.
Raoult has been strongly advocating a combination of Hydroxychloroquine-Azithromycin (HCQ-AZ) to treat COVID-19.
Dr.Raoult presented the findings of the study, which have not been independently verified, to French President Emmanuel Macron who paid a surprise visit to his institute in Marseille, southern France.
The key findings of study, the abstract of which can be found here, concludes that
- A good clinical outcome and virological cure was obtained in 973 patients within 10 days (91.7%).
- A poor outcome was observed for 46 patients (4.3%);
- 10 were transferred to intensive care units.
- 5 patients died (0.47%) (74-95 years old) and
- 31 required 10 days of hospitalization or more.
- No cardiac toxicity was observed.
The study conclude that “The HCQ-AZ combination, when started immediately after diagnosis, is a safe and efficient treatment for COVID-19, with a mortality rate of 0.5%, in elderly patients. It avoids worsening and clears virus persistence and contagiosity in most cases.”
The study was performed at IHU Méditerranée Infection, Marseille, France. A cohort of 1061 COVID-19 patients, treated for at least 3 days with the HCQ-AZ combination and a follow-up of at least 9 days was investigated. Endpoints were death, worsening and viral shedding persistence.
The interpretation of the study was summarized thus “ HCQ-AZ combination, when started immediately after diagnosis, is a safe and efficient treatment for COVID-19, with a mortality rate of 0.5%, in elderly patients. It avoids worsening and clears virus persistence and contagiosity in most cases.”
Dr Raoult has come under severe criticism from many in the scientific community for failing to follow proper research methodology in his earlier tests.
His earlier study involved 26 patients receiving hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with azithromycin, and a control group of 16 receiving no treatment. During the first six days of treatment, six patients fell out of the sample: one died, three were transferred to an intensive care unit, another left the hospital for unstated reasons, and the sixth couldn’t take the drug.
Raoult followed with another paper describing a study of 80 patients at a hospital associated with his institute, with no control group. But the 80 patients appeared to have very mild infections — only 15 per cent had a fever, and four showed no symptoms at all.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.