WHO reported over 10 million COVID-19 cases worldwide with over half a million deaths. In severe cases, the disease progresses into ARDS, which in turn depends on the overproduction of cytokines that causes alveolar and vascular lung damage. It is essential to find an immunological treatment that controls the “cytokine storm”. It is essential to have effective antiviral and anti-inflammatory drugs available immediately.
Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine has been widely adopted worldwide for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. This treatment was based on the low quality of evidence. The project included a total number of 176 participating hospitals in the UK and was set up to verify the efficacy of some of the treatments used for COVID-19. These three ‘Recovery’ RCTs concluded definitely: (a) that treatment with hydroxychloroquine provides no benefits in patients hospitalized with COVID-19; (b) that treatment with dexamethasone reduced deaths by one-third in COVID-19 patients that were mechanically ventilated, and by one-fifth in patients receiving oxygen only; (c) that the combination of Lopinavir and Ritonavir is not effective in reducing mortality in COVID-19 hospitalized patients.
The findings of this study provided sound indications to doctors for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 and prompted the correction of many institutional provisions and guidelines on COVID-19 treatments.