Dexamethasone proves first life-saving drug
A cheap and widely available drug has been found to help save the lives of patients seriously ill with coronavirus. Dexamethasone is a low-dose steroid treatment that has had a major breakthrough in the fight against the deadly virus, UK experts say.
About 19 out of 20 patients with coronavirus recover without being admitted to hospital. Of those who are admitted, most also recover but some may need oxygen or mechanical ventilation. It cut the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators. For those on oxygen, it cut deaths by a fifth. The UK government has 200,000 courses of the drug in its stockpile and says the NHS will make dexamethasone available to patients.
So far, the only other drug proven to benefit Covid patients is remdesivir, which has been used for Ebola. Michelle Roberts, health editor for the BBC, breaks down the statistics that Dexamethasone has had on various patients: