KARACHI (ENNS/MD) In another big development, researchers at the University of Oxford said they have the first evidence that a drug can improve Covid-19 survival. A steroid called dexamethasone reduced deaths by up to one-third in severely ill hospitalised patients, the News agency reported.
The BBC has also reported it as the first saving life-saving drug in the battle against coronavirus.
“Had the drug been used to treat patients in the UK from the start of the pandemic, up to 5,000 lives could have been saved, researchers say. And it could be of huge benefit in poorer countries with high numbers of Covid-19 patients,” the BBC said in its report.
The study is a large, strict test that randomly assigned 2,104 patients to get the drug and compared them with 4,321 patients getting only the usual care. The drug was given either orally or through an IV. It reduced deaths by 35% in patients who needed treatment with breathing machines, and by 20% in those only needing supplemental oxygen.
This is an extremely welcome result, one study leader, Peter Horby of Oxford said in a statement. “The survival benefit is clear and large in those patients who are sick enough to require oxygen treatment, so dexamethasone should now become standard of care in these patients. Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide.”