World

Covid-19: Antiviral drug raises hope in pandemic fight

TheMole
Written by TheMole

April 30 2020

The United States health authority has announced that Covid-19 patients were responding well to an antiviral drug, a development which may be a turning point in the fight against the pandemic.

A clinical trial of the drug remdesivir showed that patients recovered about 30 percent faster than those on a placebo.

“The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery,” Anthony Fauci, the top US epidemiologist who oversaw the study, told the media in Washington.

He likened the finding to the first retrovirals that worked against HIV in the 1980s.

The trial of the drug involved 1,063 people in 68 locations in the US, Europe and Asia.

Senior World Health Organisation (WHO) official Michael Ryan however declined to immediately support the latest findings as he had not reviewed the complete study.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticised the WHO, accusing it of not responding quickly or aggressively enough to the spread of the Covid-19.

US death toll passed the 60,000 mark yesterday, the highest in the world, while Britain’s became the third worst at 26,097, just behind Italy at more than 27,000.

Britain has not yet indicate any attempt to end its lockdown like its neighbours due to the sharp rise in its Covid-19 toll, which surpassed Spain’s, when it included deaths in places such as care homes for the first time.

Despite experts’ warning that only a full-scale vaccine will allow the wholescale removal of lockdowns, many governments are increasingly loosening them as their countries brace for the pandemic’s devastating impact on the global economy.

The United States had announced that its economic output had collapsed by 4.8 percent in the first quarter, ending more than a decade of expansion.

Germany, which has succeeded in holding off the devastating death tolls seen elsewhere in Europe is bracing for what officials described as the worst recession since the founding of the federal republic in 1949.

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