WHO recommends two new COVID-19 treatments | Daily News

WHO recommends two new COVID-19 treatments

* Estimated 4.3 mn people in UK had COVID last week
* Biden to deploy Army in hospitals
* S. Korea to introduce COVID-19 pills
WHO approved the use of Baricitinib and Sotrovimab to treat COVID-19.
WHO approved the use of Baricitinib and Sotrovimab to treat COVID-19.

SWITZERLAND, UK,US, SOUTH KOREA: The World Health Organization approved two new treatments for COVID-19 as Omicron cases put a strain on the healthcare system around the world. The WHO experts recommended arthritis drug baricitinib and synthetic antibody treatment Sotrovimab to stave off serious illness and death from COVID-19.

The experts strongly recommended the use of Baricitinib as an alternative to interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor blockers, in combination with corticosteroids, to treat severe or critical COVID patients. They suggested that the use of baricitinib with corticosteroids in severe COVID patients led to better survival rates and reduced need for ventilators.

“The strong recommendation for baricitinib in those with severe or critical illness reflects moderate certainty evidence for benefits on mortality, duration of mechanical ventilation and hospital length of stay (high certainty) with no observed increase in adverse effects leading to drug discontinuation,” the updated WHO guidelines say.

The experts suggested that baricitinib and IL-6 receptor blockers like tocilizumab and sarilumab have similar effects and the decision should be based on issues including cost and clinician experience.

They also recommended Sotrovimab for people with non-serious COVID who are at the highest risk of hospitalisation, such as the elderly and people with chronic diseases.

Meanwhile, An estimated 4.3 million people in private households across the UK had Covid-19 last week, up from 3.7 million in the previous week, setting a new record, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Prevalence of the virus continues to be highest in England, where around one in 15 people are estimated to have had the virus in the week to January 6, according to ONS figures published on Wednesday.

In Wales, around one in 20 is estimated to have infected with the disease last week, or 169,100 people, up from 157,900, Xinhua news agency quoted the ONS as saying.

For Scotland the latest estimate is one in 20, or 297,400 people, up from 238,000. In Northern Ireland, the estimate is 99,200 people, up from 72,900, in a week.

Meanwhile, US President Biden plans to announce on Thursday the deployment of 1,000 military medical personnel to six states to help hospitals deal with a surge in cases from the omicron variant, White House officials said.

Officials said the new teams of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel would begin arriving at hospitals in Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island.

They said the teams would help triage patients arriving at hospitals, allowing short-staffed emergency departments to free up space.

Meanwhile,South Korea will begin treating coronavirus patients with Pfizer’s antiviral pills on Friday, health officials said, as concern mounts over the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

At least 21,000 of the pills, called Paxlovid, arrived on Thursday to be distributed to some 280 pharmacies and 90 residential treatment centres, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said. “In light of Omicron’s much higher infectiousness, the medication should play a meaningful role in restraining the number of patients who would develop critical symptoms even if the strain is relatively less severe,” Kim Ki-nam, a KDCA official, told a briefing.


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