South Africa’s Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize spoke to eNCA about the COVID-19 breakthrough drug. The anti-inflammatory drug Dexamethasone is the medical breakthrough drug that health professionals use as Coronavirus treatment. The minister states that although the drug can help those in the ICU, it does not stop people from succumbing to COVID-19. Dexamethasone has improved the lives of patients who are on oxygen by 30% and those on ventilators by 20%. In essence, the drug reduces the number of fatalities caused by the Coronavirus; it doesn’t ‘cure’ the virus.

What is this breakthrough drug? 

Dexamethasone is the breakthrough drug that doctors use to reduce mortality in critical COVID-19 cases.  

What was Dexamethasone used for in the past? 

The steroid drug has been around since the 1960s to help treat inflammatory disorders and certain cancers.

Is the drug a cure for Coronavirus? 

No. The drug does not cure nor prevent COVID-19. The drug reduces the mortality rate in critical conditions caused by the Coronavirus.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general is quoted saying: “This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support,”

COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Update:

The Coronavirus vaccine trials are reportedly underway. South Africa will vaccinate 2 000 with the vaccine known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The pressure is mounting to find a vaccine in South Africa, as winter approaches because the virus thrives in cold temperatures and prevention is always the preferred route.

Watch the minister of Health speak about the breakthrough drug in-depth below: