In a major breakthrough in the fight against coronavirus, low doses of drug dexamethasone have reportedly been found to reduce deaths among patients. The steroid treatment has cut death rates by around one-third among those with the most severe cases of COVID-19 infection, according to trial by scientists leading the UK-led clinical trial known as RECOVERY.
The researchers have also suggested that the cure should immediately be adopted to treat the patients. "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," global news agency Reuters reported citing Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor who is co-leading the trial, as saying.
The researchers are also of the view that the drug could be of substantial benefit in poorer countries struggling with high numbers of coronavirus patients due to its low cost.
There is no approved drug for treatment of coronavirus patients as of now. Presently, over 100 experimental COVID-19 vaccines are in various stages of development, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO). From US-based Moderna Inc to China's CanSino Pharmaceuticals Inc, some of the world's biggest companies are in the race to develop the coronavirus vaccine. Over 4,31,000 people have lost their lives around the world due to coronavirus infection in the past many months.
Even as multiple vaccine candidates have entered various levels of trials, experts believe that a fully potent vaccine could only be developed next year.