SGH among nine hospitals selected to implement Covid-19 drug trials

Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) in Kuching. (file photo)

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, April 6: Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) is one of nine hospitals in Malaysia selected by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to implement drug trials to treat Covid-19 patients.

MoH director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a press statement today revealed the ministry has fast-tracked the process to implement the drug trials which will begin soon.

The nine hospitals are Tuanku Fauziah Hospital (Perlis), Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital (Kedah), Pulau Pinang Hospital (Penang), Sungai Buloh Hospital (Selangor), Kuala Lumpur Hospital (Kuala Lumpur), Melaka Hospital (Melaka), Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital (Pahang), SGH (Sarawak) and Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Sabah).

Meanwhile, MoH revealed that the ‘Solidarity Trial’ launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) will see Malaysia’s involvement in an international effort to test several drugs in treating Covid-19.

The ministry noted the global WHO-coordinated trial is an unprecendented effort to collect reliable data and compare the safety and effectiveness of four treatment protocols using different combinations of Remdesivir, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, Interferon beta, Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine.

Meanwhile, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore head of mission and WHO representative Dr Ying-Ru Lo disclosed: “The global pandemic is affecting more than 180 countries, and one of these drugs may be our best hope for treating people infected with Covid-19.

“This is our chance as a global community, to turn the tide against the pandemic. Malaysia will be a valued partner in this trial to evaluate potential treatments that are more effective, and to save lives in the global battle to fight this virus.

The research in Malaysia will be headed by Dr Chow Ting Soo, an infective disease (ID) consultant at Pulau Pinang Hospital with a team comprising 16 ID physicians and pharmacists as co-investigators at the respective MoH hospitals.

Dr Noor Hisham gave assurance that the trial will adhere to all safety standards set by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency.

“Malaysia’s participation in this worldwide trial could help find life-saving medicines for Covid-19 through evaluating their safety and effectiveness,” he added.

He also disclosed that the MoH Institute for Clinical Research (ICR) and Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) would help facilitate the implementation of the WHO-initiated trial in Malaysia. — DayakDaily