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WHO Praises Dexamethasone as 'Breakthrough' in Treating COVID-19

© REUTERS / YVES HERMANA pharmacist displays an ampoule of Dexamethasone at the Erasme Hospital amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brussels, Belgium, June 16, 2020.
A pharmacist displays an ampoule of Dexamethasone at the Erasme Hospital amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brussels, Belgium, June 16, 2020. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomes the clinical trials showing that dexamethasone, a widely available type of corticosteroid medication, is effective in treating critically ill COVID-19 patients, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday.

"This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support … This is great news and I congratulate the Government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough," Tedros said in a press release.

According to the research conducted by the University of Oxford, the drug was proven to reduce the risk of death among COVID-19 patients receiving lung ventilation treatment by 35 percent and patients on oxygen by 20 percent. The United Kingdom has approved the use of dexamethasone in treating COVID-19 and said that it is the first drug that can cure the disease.

The WHO said that the researchers shared preliminary results of the clinical trial, and the organization was "looking forward to the full data analysis in the coming days."

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