In other important COVID-19 news:
1. Gilead Science’s clinical trial of the rheumatoid arthritis drug remdesivir was not effective in treating COVID-19, according to a draft of a Chinese study that was inadvertently posted to the World Health Organization (WHO) web site early, TIME reported.
Remdesivir was “not associated with a difference in time to clinical improvement,” according to STAT, and there was almost no difference in the fatality rate of patients given remdesivir compared to those who received the placebo, TIME said.
However, the study had to be terminated early due to low enrollment. “We believe the post included inappropriate characterizations of the study. The study was terminated early due to low enrollment and, as a result, it was underpowered to enable statistically meaningful conclusions,” Merdad Parsey, MD, chief medical officer at Gilead Sciences, told TIME. “As such, the study results are inconclusive, though trends in the data suggest a potential benefit for remdesivir, particularly among patients treated early in the disease.”
2. There is no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 are protected from a second infection, WHO tweeted, NBC News reported. Still, most studies suggest that people who have recovered from the infection have antibodies to fight the virus, WHO said.
WHO advised against the use of “immunity passports,” which have been suggested in some countries as a way to allow people to travel or return to work, NBC News said.
There is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of antibody-mediated immunity to guarantee the accuracy of such passports, WHO said.