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NCDC reacts to breakthrough in COVID-19 cure

Pascal Oparada

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reacted to the breakthrough in the cure for Coronavirus discovered in the United Kingdom.

In a tweet, on Tuesday, the agency said it was aware of the recent outcome from a UK Government-funded clinical trial for COVID-19.

According to NCDC, the trial supports the use of Dexamethasone, a steroid that could be administered on critical patients of COVID-19.

“Please note that the Government of Nigeria has not validated or approved any treatment for COVID-19. In addition, the use of Dexamethasone for COVID-19 treatment has not been validated by WHO

“We are aware of ongoing clinical trials conducted by scientists in the UK and will work with our sister agencies to evaluate this emerging data on the use of Dexamethasone.

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“We will inform the general public on outcomes following scientific review and validation,” NCDC said.

Researchers at Oxford University announced the breakthrough on Tuesday and said that Dexamethosane could provide the much needed cure for coronavirus patients.

Dexamethasone, a cheap steroid that has been around for decades, has become the first medicine proven to reduce the death rate among hospitalised patients

An Oxford University scientist who led a British trial of the drug, Prof. Peter Horby, said at today’s briefing that treating eight people with the drug could save one life and cost just £40 in total.

It could save up to 35 per cent of patients relying on ventilators – the most dangerously ill – and reduce the odds of death by a fifth for all patients needing oxygen at any point.

Britain is the first country to approve Dexamethasone for Covid-19 patients, the Department of Health said, although clinical trials of the drug are ongoing in other countries including France, Iran, Spain and Argentina. If other countries approve the drug for patients most will be able to obtain their own supplies from domestic firms.