The World Health Organisation (WHO) has given its approval for the use of corticosteroid drugs for severe and critical COVID-19 patients.
The approval follows the trials conducted by seven researchers from Britain, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Spain and the United States, which revealed that the steroids improve survival rates of COVID-19 patients sick enough to be in intensive care in hospital.
WHO, in a statement published on Wednesday, said: “We recommend systemic corticosteroids for the treatment of patients with severe and critical COVID-19.
“We suggest not to use corticosteroids in the treatment of patients with non-severe COVID-19 as the treatment brought no benefits, and could even prove harmful. Treatment should be under supervision of a clinician.
“WHO encourages countries to maintain sufficient stocks of corticosteroids to treat COVID-19 and the other disease for which they are effective, while not maintaining excessive stocks which could deny other countries access.”
“The evidence shows that if you give corticosteroids …(there are) 87 fewer deaths per 1,000 patients. Those are lives … saved,” WHO’s clinical care lead, Janet Diaz, noted.