Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke at an online press conference from the organization’s headquarters in Geneva that remdesivir and interferon drugs are not effective in the fight against Covid-19, according to the WHO-sponsored study.
The results of the study have already been published and have even been questioned by American pharmacist Gilead, who said they were “inconsistent” and noted that other studies confirm the antiviral’s usefulness.
However, at the news conference this Friday, WHO officials said interim studies show that remdesivir and interferon have “little or no effect on preventing death from Covid-19 or reducing hospital time,” the director general stressed the largest study ever carried out with 13,000 people from 500 hospitals in 30 countries.
The director general reminded at the press conference that hydroxychloroquine was removed from the study in June and that the patients also discontinued the combination of lopinavir and ritonavir in July.
The WHO chief official thanked the study participants and hoped that the full results would soon be published in an “important scientific journal”. He added that the study would enroll around 2,000 patients each month and evaluate other treatments, including monoclonal antibodies and new antivirals.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said that as winter approaches, cases of Covid-19 are increasing in the northern hemisphere, particularly in Europe, where the number of cases reported last week was almost three times higher than that of the first pandemic summit last week March.
Although the death toll was “much lower” than in March, hospital stays are on the rise, he warned, then stressed that many healthcare facilities in Europe could reach their limits in the coming weeks.
“Any hospital bed that is occupied by a patient with Covid-19 is a bed that is not available to anyone with another illness or illness such as the flu.”The official also pointed out that there are up to 3.5 million severe cases of seasonal flu and 650,000 deaths related to respiratory disease worldwide each year.
“During the southern hemisphere winter this year, the number of seasonal flu cases and deaths was lower than usual due to the measures taken to contain the Covid-19. However, we cannot assume that this will continue to be the case in the northern hemisphere flu season, ”he warned, adding that WHO recommends flu vaccination for the most vulnerable groups.
Regarding World Hypertension Day, celebrated today, the WHO Director General also recalled that high blood pressure increases the risk of other diseases and that the Covid-19 pandemic is providing services in this area in more than half of the countries of the USA disrupted the world.
“Even if we focus on ending the pandemic, we need to remember that Covid-19 is just one health threat among many.”and when it ends there will still be more than 1 billion hypertensive people in the world, he warned.
The Covid-19 pandemic has already caused more than one million and ninety-nine thousand deaths and nearly 39 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report by the French agency AFP.
In Portugal, 2,149 people died from 95,902 confirmed cases of infection, according to the latest bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.
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