Coronavirus drug breakthrough – and how it will be used in South Africa

South Africa

Johannesburg – South Africa will look at the use of the drug, dexamethasone, as a means of the treatment for severe Covid-19 cases in the country.

Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize said in a statement that the drug had seen a successful trial in the UK.

Dexamethasone has been used since the 1960s to reduce inflammation in a range of conditions including inflammatory diseases and certain cancers.

The drug has shown to reduce mortality by about one-third, and mortality was cut by one-fifth on patients requiring only oxygen.

While the full findings of the trial are still required, South Africa’s Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) said that the use of the drug may be considered for patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 who are being mechanically ventilated.

“This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with Covid-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support,” said WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

On Tuesday, Mkhize announced that South Africa now has 76,334 confirmed cases of coronavirus.


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