The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented threat to public health and the whole world is fighting against the virus. Amid this situation, Britain’s health minister on Wednesday claimed a steroid called dexamethasone has been found to be effective in treating coronavirus.
He said it is probably the best news so far of the outbreak. On Tuesday, the steroid was applied and as a result the death rates were reduced by around a third among the most severely ill COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital. University of Oxford researchers announced preliminary results of their trial on Tuesday.
Dexamethasone is usually used to reduce inflammation in other diseases such as arthritis.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in an interview, “It does increase your chances of survival quite significantly,”
“It is one of the best pieces of news we’ve had through this whole crisis.”
“It reduces your chances of dying when you are on a ventilator,” Hancock said. “It is brilliant news for everybody.”
The drug gave positive signals in February and in March and then the government decided to purchase it in April. He declared the reduction of the death rate below 1 in all regions but didn’t mention whether it was particularly in England or the entire United Kingdom.
Mr Hancock said Britain has increased the amount of dexamethasone it has in stock and in order to 240,000 doses. “It’s the first time that anyone in the world has clinically proven that a drug can improve the survival chances of the most seriously ill coronavirus patients,” Hancock told parliament.
“As of today, we have 240,000 doses now in stock and on order. And this means that the treatment is immediately available and already in use on the NHS (National Health Service),” he added.