Earlier, several other measures such as convalescent plasma therapy were tried to save lives but none have been found to be as effective.
New Delhi: For countries battling high mortality rate due to the coronavirus pandemic, steroid Dexamethasone can be a boon, as researchers in England have claimed that it can reduce COVID-19 deaths by one-third in severely ill hospitalised patients. This is the first evidence that a drug can improve the survival rate. Earlier, several other measures such as convalescent plasma therapy were tried to save lives but none have been found to be as effective.
The chief investigators of the randomised evaluation of COVID -19 therapy (recovery) trial said low-cost Dexamethasone reduces death by up to one-third in hospitalised patients with severe respiratory complications. Dexamethasone reduces inflammation and lowers the body's immune response and is used with other drugs to treat different types of cancer:
“Dexamethasone is the first drug to be shown to improve survival in COVID-19. This is an extremely welcome result. 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,” said Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, and one of the Chief Investigators for the trial.
Dr Ashish K Jha, director of Harvard Global Health Institute, said: “One feature of COVID is that while some folks have mild disease, others get very, very sick. We think the immune response is a major component of why some folks get so sick. Dexamethasone is a steroid that blocks/mediates the immune response. It’s cheap and widely available.”
Till Tuesday morning, India had reported 3,43,091 cases and 9,900 deaths, out of which 10,667 were fresh cases, and 380 new deaths. In the last 24 hours, 10,215 COVID-19 patients were discharged while the total number of cured stands at 1,80,012 patients.
According to health ministry the recovery rate is now 52.47 per cent . Currently, 1,53,178 active cases are under medical supervision. However, as per worldometres.info, there were 3,44,788 cases by late Tuesday evening and 9,926 deaths.