UK scientists claim to have discovered a major breakthrough in treating coronavirus patients with the use of a cheap and available drug known as Dexamethasone.
The drug, which cost a patient less than N2,500 (5 Pounds) has proven to reduce the risk of dying from coronavirus, by a third in patients on ventilators, while reducing the risk of dying by a fifth, for those on oxygen.
According to the researchers, “There is a clear, clear benefit. The treatment lasts for up to 10 days and it costs about £5 per patient. This is a drug that is globally available.” He said further that a lot of lives would have been saved if this drug had been used earlier.
Data from Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) shows that confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria is growing astronomically, despite measures put in place to curtail the spread of the pandemic. 424 fatalities have been recorded so far in Nigeria, and this according to the Scientists could have been avoided if dexamethasone had been discovered earlier.
In the trial, led by a team of researchers from Oxford University, around 2,000 hospital patients were given the treatment and were compared with more than 4,000 who did not receive the drug.
Chief Investigator Prof. Peter Horby said, “this is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality – and it reduced it significantly. It’s a major breakthrough.”
It should however, be noted that Dexamethasone does not appear to help people with mild symptoms of coronavirus, that is those who do not need help with their breathing.