One of the world’s biggest trial working on existing treatments to get the best for Coronavirus has found Dexamethasone cuts the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators.
The trial, conducted by UK experts also found that the breakthrough drug cuts risk of death by a fifth for patients on oxygen.
This comes as Nigeria records more deaths of highly placed people due to the infection in the last few days.
The Lagos State government in collaboration with the National Agency for Food and Drug, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had commenced clinical trial on hydroxychloroquine a couple of weeks ago, to test its effectiveness in treating the virus, but findings are yet to be out.
Dexamethasone, is a cheap and globally available drug, that can help save the lives of patients seriously ill with coronavirus, the researchers quipped.
In a report by the BBC News, the British scientists said the low-dose steroid treatment, dexamethasone, could be of huge benefit in poorer countries with high numbers of Covid-19 patients.
About 2,000 hospital patients were given dexamethasone, in a trial led by a team from Oxford University.
When compared with more than 4,000 who were not given the drug, it was found that dexamethasone cuts the risk of death from 40 per cent to 28 per cent for patients on ventilators.
According to the Chief investigator Prof. Peter Horby: “This is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality – and it reduces it significantly. It’s a major breakthrough”.
Prof Martin Landray, lead researcher also noted that the findings suggested one life could be saved for: “every eight patients on a ventilator; every 20-25 treated with oxygen.
“There is a clear, clear benefit,” he said.
“The treatment is up to 10 days of dexamethasone and it costs about £5 per patient.
“So essentially it costs £35 to save a life”, he said.