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.