New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a major breakthrough against the deadly coronavirus amid the rising cases globally and the rush to find a vaccine for the dreadful infection, two researchers in the United Kingdom have found a low-cost steroid named ‘Dexamethasone’ which has proved to be helpful in treating critical COVID-19 patients dependent on ventilators or oxygen supply.

Though this might be a breakthrough, researchers say that the findings are still in the preliminary stage. The researchers also suggest that the drug should immediately become standard care in patients treated in hospital with the pandemic disease.

Martin Landray, one of the two lead researchers of the RECOVERY Trial, a large UK-based trial investigating potential COVID-19 treatments, as quoted by CNN, said that “this is a highly statistically significant result”.

"This is a 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.

He further said, "This is a completely compelling result. If one looks at the patients who did not require ventilators but were on oxygen, there was also a significant risk reduction of about one-fifth."

"However, we did not see any benefit in those patients who were in the hospital, had COVID-19, but whose lungs were working sufficiently well -- they were not taking either oxygen or on ventilators," Landray said.

"In the trial, our focus was on mortality, which obviously a drug can affect in either direction, but the overall results in the patients on oxygen and ventilation was a clear benefit. We have looked, for example, were there deaths due to other forms of infection, which are sometimes considered a risk? The answer is no and there was no excess of any other particular cause of death," he added.

Speaking further about the trial and the dosage of the medicine, Landray said that dexamethasone was provided to the patients at a dose of 6 mg once in a day for ten days, either by injection or taken orally. The researcher also said that the dexamethasone has not shown any serious complications among the patients taking the medicine.   

According to the latest data by Johns Hopkins University, the total number of coronavirus cases globally stands at 8,075,962 and 437,939 people have succumbed to the dreadful infection so far.



(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan