I did read the paper. I tried not to get too deep into the details in the original version of this article. Anyone interested in the details was provided a link to the original article. Given the wide interest and lack of understanding about the caveats and limitations of this study, I have decided to provide an update and explicitly list the limitations and some of the design issues.

I will not conclude or imply that the manuscript was not peer-reviewed. The authors were transparent about the study limitations. In a pandemic emergency situation, peer review can be done very quickly. It is not as if reviewers could request additional experiments. This is a clinical trial.

I would have liked a better explanation of the 2 different ways of reporting the virus data (positive/negative versus specific values).

I did indicate that the study was very small. The title of the study clearly indicated it was open-label and not random, so I did not think it necessary to emphasize that. I have now.

Many clinical trials exclude subjects in the summary data for various reasons. The authors explain their subject assignment into control and treatment groups and their reasons for excluding some patients in the summary data. I have now emphasized these exclusions in the update.

I totally agree that there are caveats to this study, but I still found it exciting and encouraging. I still do. I am glad that WHO decided to include chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in the SOLIDARITY Trial.

I have read several documents from hospitals providing guidance about how to treat COVID-19 patients. Some from the US and some from China. These drugs, and others, are mentioned as candidate treatments. No approved treatments exist yet. The world is in uncharted territory. It seems entirely likely that different treatments will be appropriate in different patients at different stages of the disease and with different underlying conditions.

I have also provided additional information about chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for anyone interested.

Written by

Ph.D. scientist with a passion for scientific communication and > 20 years editorial experience

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store