Too few patients, so China is canceling Covid-19 clinical trials

China has evidently done such a fantastic job of containing the spread of the coronavirus that it’s now having a hard time finding patients for clinical trials.

Doctor Zhong Nanshan, the respiratory specialist who leads a group of experts advising the Chinese government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak, has said 45 trials have been canceled in China, mainly due to lack of test subjects.

“No one expected that China would control the epidemic so quickly,” Zhong said. “There is currently no opportunity for large-scale clinical drug and treatment-related research in China.”

Since the outbreak began, China has approved a total of 594 clinical trials, a number that Zhong touted as being much higher than during the SARS epidemic when he says that researchers were focused on finding a treatment rather than doing studies and publishing papers.

Zhong added that China had now contained the initial coronavirus outbreak and was doing well combatting a potential second wave.

China has reported more than 84,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,642 deaths caused by the epidemic.

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