<!– Remdesivir shows promise as silver bullet against coronavirus –>
US scientists have hailed a potential breakthrough in the coronavirus fight after a trial showed patients responding to an antiviral drug, Remdesivir.
The drug which spectacularly failed against Ebola virus has fuelled some hopes for a return to normal.
This is despite mounting deaths and abysmal economic figures.
However, Remdesivir may not be the silver bullet yet for coronavirus.
According to a smaller study, released last week by the WHO, the drug had limited effects among patients in Wuhan, China, where the illness was first detected in December.
But in the U.S. a clinical trial of Remdesivir showed that patients recovered about 30 percent faster than those on a placebo, in the first proof of successful treatment against the new disease.
“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 reporters.
Fauci likened the finding to the first retrovirals that worked, albeit with modest success, against HIV in the 1980s.
US virus fatalities soared past 60,000 on Wednesday. The country has suffered the most deaths, with Britain’s toll shooting up to the world’s third worst at over 26,000.
Senior WHO official Michael Ryan declined to weigh in on the latest findings, saying he had not reviewed the complete study.
“We are all hoping — fervently hoping — that one or more of the treatments currently under observation and under trial will result in altering clinical outcomes” and reducing deaths, he said.
The World Health Organization’s emergency committee was due to meet Thursday for the first time in three months to discuss the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed more than 226,000 lives worldwide.
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