Due to the lack of testing candidates in China, authorities have reportedly cancelled several clinal trials of drugs including a potential COVID-19 medicine, remdesivir. According to an international media report, 598 coronavirus-related clinical trials had been registered in the country, however, approximately 40 had been cancelled. While speaking to a media outlet, Zhong Nanshan, who is leading the team of experts advising the Chinese government on the outbreak, said that the applications of the trials were withdrawn ahead of the deadline to register them.
Zhang reportedly said that the lack of available testing subjects was because the outbreak had passed its peak in China and the government was able to contain the spread. Since mid-March, the country has been reporting comparatively less number of cases and the dozens of cases which have been reported were that of the imported cases. Zhong said that the sharp drop in patients has hampered trials.
Furthermore, Zhong also said that several studies have also been cancelled because China successfully controlled the outbreak. He added that there is ‘no opportunity’ for large-scale clinical drug or treatment research in China. Moreover, according to US government, the clinical trial of remdesivir for treatment of COVID-19 involving mild or moderate cases has been suspended in China for the reason that the waning outbreak made it impossible to enrol enough eligible patients.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump and few of his aides questioned China’s handling of the pandemic and showed scepticism for its transparency on reporting about the virus. However, China reiterated its denial of the Western allegation and Zhao Lijian, spokesman of foreign ministry reportedly said that the virus' rapid spreading resulted in undercounting.
However, he added that "there had never been any concealment, and that the Chinese government would never allow any concealment." Commenting on US’s allegation, he said that accusing China of being in a cosy relationship with WHO was an attempt at ‘smearing’ Beijing.