COVID-19: the WHO calls for increased global production of dexamethasone

COVID-19: l’OMS appelle à augmenter la production mondiale de dexaméthasone

Photo: Arman Soldin Agence France-Presse
According to the early results of a clinical trial uk, dexamethasone reduces by one third the mortality in patients with the most severely affected.

The WHO on Monday called for increasing production of dexamethasone, after the announcement by british researchers that this powerful steroid to reduce significantly the mortality in seriously ill patients by the COVID-19.

“The next challenge is to increase the production and to distribute quickly and fairly, and dexamethasone in the world, focusing on the places where it is needed the most,” said the director general of the world Organization of health, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during a virtual press conference.

“Fortunately, it is an inexpensive medicine, and there are many manufacturers of dexamethasone in the world, which, we believe, can accelerate the production “, he added.

According to the early clinical trial results in the british Recovery published last week, the dexamethasone — first drug to show improvement of survival of patients of the COVID-19 — reduced by a third the mortality in patients with the most severely affected.


The director-general of WHO has pointed out that ” the dexamethasone should only be used for the sick of COVID-19 in serious condition or critical, under close clinical monitoring “.

“There is no evidence that this drug works for patients with a benign condition or as a preventive measure, and it could cause damage “, he insisted.

Pointing out that demand in dexamethasone ” has already jumped “, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on the international community to show “solidarity” and “transparency” to the country with the largest number of critically ill patients receive the stocks of dexamethasone priority.

“It is also important to ensure that the suppliers can ensure the quality “products” because there is a high risk that products of inferior quality or adulterated enter in the market, ” noted the boss, WHO.

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A medication from another family that dexamethasone, the anti-viral remdesivir, showed a certain efficiency to accelerate the recovery of the hospitalized patients because of the COVID-19, but he has not been able to prove that he could avoid death.

While the pandemic is accelerating in the world, “it seems that almost every day, we reach a new and sinister record,” noted the head of the WHO. “Yesterday, more than 183 000 new cases were reported to the WHO, which probably represents the largest number of cases in a single day till now.”

And many uncertainties remain.

The presence of the COVID-19 in Europe, seems to be traced back to much earlier than previously thought, a study has shown that the new coronavirus was in the sewage of Milan and Turin, in northern Italy, from December 2019. “There is clearly a chance that this virus has been circulating in the north of Italy so obvious before you know it,” said Michael Ryan, the WHO, stressing that ” at this stage, it does not change the hypothesis of the origin of the disease “.

While the animal origin of the virus is also fuzzy, WHO, when questioned on the cases reported in mink in the north of Europe, explained that the transmission was ” very limited.”

“Some of the mink were found to be positive in the netherlands and in Denmark, and what we understand of the investigations that are currently underway, it is that there have been individuals who have infected the minks, and they, in turn, some of these mink were infected people “, has detailed Maria Van Kerkhove of the WHO.

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