•WHO endorses Dexamethasone for treatment of patients
Nigeria yesterday recorded 452 new cases of COVID-19, bringing to 21,371 the number of confirmed cases in the country.
This is coming as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the fight against COVID-19 has received a boost following “the recent finding that the steroid dexamethasone has life-saving potential for critically ill COVID-19 patients.”
Announcing the new cases yesterday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said Lagos recorded 209 new cases, Oyo, 67; Delta, 37; Ogun, 36; Federal Capital Territory (FCT), 22; Abia, 20; Enugu, 16; Bauchi, 15; Kaduna and Ondo, eight each; Osun, seven; Imo and Benue, three each and Borno, one.
It said: “Nigeria has recorded 21,371 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 7,338 persons have been discharged, while 533 persons have died.”
Meanwhile, WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, at a virtual briefing from Geneva yesterday, said the next challenge, after the validation of the efficacy of dexamethasone in the treatment of COVID-19, was to increase production “and rapidly and equitably distribute dexamethasone worldwide, focusing on where it is needed most.”
Ghebreyesus said although “the data on it is still preliminary,” the recent finding has given the world a much-needed reason to celebrate.
According to him, demand has already surged, following the UK trial results showing “dexamethasone’s clear benefit”.
He, however, cautioned that there is no evidence that dexamethasone works for patients who are only mildly affected, or as a preventative measure.
WHO said dexamethasone “should only be used for patients with severe or critical disease, under close clinical supervision.”
The WHO chief noted that the steroid was already being produced by many manufacturers globally, and should be made available at an ‘inexpensive’ cost.