National News

DOH: Still No ‘Magic Pill’ for Coronavirus


After news broke out that the steroid drug ‘dexamethasone’ is pivotal to the treatment of severely ill patients infected with coronavirus, the Department of Health cautioned the public that, to date, there is still no “magic pill” for the dreaded disease.

Health Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explains that, although dexamethasone might be a ‘breakthrough in science’, the public should understand that there were limitations to the study made by the team from Oxford University.

“[P]eople might think that this is the ‘magic pill’ against COVID-19. It is not. We will wait for the results of the peer reviews so that our experts here can also study and say if we can administer the treatment to our patients,” states Health Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, in an article by the Inquirer.

A report by United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health Research revealed that for patients who receive standard treatment, the risk of death was 41% for those on ventilators compared to 25% for those on oxygen. Moreover, by taking 6mg of dexamethasone daily, the risk of death was reduced by one-third in ventilated patients and by one-fifth in other patients receiving oxygen only. Read more: Still no ‘magic pill’ for virus, says DOH after UK ‘breakthrough’, an article by the Inquirer.

“Overall, dexamethasone reduced the risk of 28-day mortality by 17 percent with a highly significant trend showing greatest benefit among those on ventilators,” the report claims.

With this, Vergeire reiterates that the drug should not be taken as a prophylactic.

“We cannot use this for mild, asymptomatic or even for preventing people not to get [COVID-19]. The study clearly stated that this was given to severe and critical cases as supportive treatment,” Vergeire adds.

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