Coronavirus treatment breakthrough “will save thousands of lives”

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Published on June 17, 2020 by

The first medicine that’s been proven to reduce deaths among people infected with coronavirus is expected to save thousands of lives.

Dexamethasone is a cheap steroid drug that has been in use for 60 years. A team at Oxford University has demonstrated that is significantly reduces deaths among people with Covid-19 who are on oxygen or on a ventilator.

The researchers looked at around 6,000 patients across the UK who were seriously ill on a ventilator or requiring oxygen. The drug cuts the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators and by a fifth for those requiring oxygen.

The government’s chief scientific adviser says it’s a ground-breaking development and the drug is to be given to all Covid-19 patients who could benefit from it immediately.

Huw Edwards presents BBC News at Ten reporting by Medical Correspondent Fergus Walsh.

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