May 2 2020
United States authorities had given their approval for Remdesivir, an antiviral drug initially developed for Ebola, to be used for for Covid-19 treatment.
This follows the results of a major trial which indicated that the drug boosted recovery among serious Covid-19 patients.
“It’s really a very promising situation,” said President Donald Trump as he announced the approval for the drug at the White House. Also present was Daniel O’Day, CEO of Gilead Sciences, which developed Remdesivir.
Remdesivir incorporates itself into the virus’s genome, short-circuiting its replication process.
The US has recorded about 1.1 million Covid-19 cases and nearly 65,000 deaths, making it the worst hit country in the world.
“Hopefully, we’re going to come in below that 100,000 lives lost, which is a horrible number nevertheless,” said Trump.
Meanwhile, public pressure has apparently pushed more states in the US to ease their lockdown despite the grim statistics.
Anti-lockdown demonstrations have been held in several states, including California, where officials had re-closed beaches to avoid a repeat of last weekend when crowds flocked to the shoreline.
California has recorded more than 50,000 Covid-19 cases so far.
Other governments around the world are also struggling to balance the immense political and economic pressure to ease lockdowns with the need for public health measures against further spread of Covid-19, which has killed more than 236,000 people.