A cheap and widely available drug dexamethasone can help save the lives of patients seriously ill with COVID-19.
Trial results showed dexamethasone, which is used to reduce inflammation in other diseases such as arthritis, reduced death rates by around a third among the most severely ill COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital.
The dexamethasone is a “major breakthrough” in the fight against the deadly virus, UK experts said.
“This is a (trial) result that shows that if patients who have COVID-19 and are on ventilators or are on oxygen are given dexamethasone, it will save lives, and it will do so at a remarkably low cost,” said Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor co-leading the trial.
The UK government has 200,000 courses of the drug in its stockpile.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was a genuine case to celebrate “a remarkable British scientific achievement.”
“We have taken steps to ensure we have enough supplies, even in the event of a second peak,” he said.