Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia on Friday showed its support for the World Health Organization's endeavors to combat the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, by joining an international clinical trial for finding an effective treatment for the virus.

Indonesia's participation in the WHO ‘Solidarity' clinical trial which would involve testing medicines on COVID-19 patients in the country indicates its support for the international body, said Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi during a virtual press conference here on Friday.

Marsudi said the WHO is building international cooperation for sharing information and charting preventive and emergency response measures in the health sector. The clinical trial would involve at least 900 COVID-19 patients in 90 countries.

At the press conference, the Foreign Minister also highlighted the importance of supporting the spirit of multilateralism for safeguarding the common interest of all nations across the world amid concerns over the coronavirus.

"Indonesia has kept voicing the spirit of solidarity and global partnership in fighting COVID-19 at various international forums," she pointed out.

According to the official WHO website, the ‘Solidarity’ trial would compare four treatment options against the standard of care to assess their relative effectiveness against COVID-19.

"By enrolling patients in multiple countries, the ‘Solidarity’ trial aims to rapidly discover whether any of the drugs slow disease progression or improve survival. Other drugs can be added based on emerging evidence,” the WHO stated.

Until there is sufficient evidence, the WHO cautioned physicians and medical associations against recommending or administering these unproven treatments to patients with COVID-19, or people self-medicating with them.

The WHO also expressed concern over "reports of individuals self-medicating with chloroquine and causing themselves serious harm."

Considering the fact that COVID-19, which initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, has spread to all 34 provinces of Indonesia, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) declared the coronavirus outbreak a national disaster.

As of 12 a.m. Western Indonesia Time (WIB) Friday, Indonesia reported 5,923 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the number of deaths reaching 520. As many as 607 patients were discharged from hospitals after fully recovering from the infection. (INE)

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Translator: Yashinta DP, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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