GENEVA, June 18, 2020: Breaking “the welcome news” of positive initial results from the recovery trial in the United Kingdom, WHO said Dexamethasone, a common steroid, has been shown to have a beneficial effect on those patients severely ill with COVID-19.
According to the early findings shared with WHO, for patients on oxygen alone the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one fifth. And for patients requiring a ventilator, mortality was reduced by about one third.
“However, dexamethasone was shown to not have a beneficial effect for those with milder disease, who did not need respiratory support,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “The world has now recorded more than 8 million cases of COVID-19,” he said.
Addressing the global media Dr Tedros said The world has now recorded more than 8 million cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 435,000 deaths and in the Americas, Africa and South Asia; cases are still rapidly rising.
In the first two months, 85,000 cases of COVID-19 were reported. But in the past two months, the cases have gone up to six million cases have been reported.
However, there are green shoots of hope, which show that together through global solidarity, humanity can overcome this pandemic. “We now have good examples of many countries that have shown how to effectively suppress the virus with a combination of testing, tracing, and quarantining patients and caring for those that get sick,” he said.
Lab capacity has been dramatically enhanced across the world to boost COVID-19 testing, which is critical for identifying where the virus is and informing government actions.
New mega hubs have been established that are now key to the distribution of personal protective equipment, which includes millions of masks, goggles, aprons and gloves; as well as other medical supplies.
Tech companies have developed applications that can assist with the critical task of contact tracing and there has been an enormous effort to accelerate the science around the pandemic, Dr Tedros added.