Health Dept commends COVID-19 steroid research

Health Dept commends COVID-19 steroid research

The Health Ministry says hospitals may consider using a steroid drug – that British researchers say reduces deaths by around a third for COVID-19 patients on ventilators, and by about a fifth for those needing oxygen masks.

Zweli Mkhize - AFP

Another 57 people  – diagnosed with COVID-19 – have died in South Africa. Four of these deaths were in KwaZulu-Natal, bringing the national number of coronavirus-related fatalities so far, to 1 625. 

The country's total number of confirmed cases has risen to 76 334, that's an increase of 2 801 from Monday. 

Eighty-nine new infections have been recorded in KwaZulu Natal, pushing the province's total number of cases to 4 048. The death toll's increased to 73.

The Western Cape has the most number of fatalities and infections – at 1 200 and over 45 000 respectively.

READ: COVID-19: Durban South parents keep children away from schools

Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize says the mortality rate's now at 2.1% and there've been 42 063 recoveries nationwide.

He's also commented on Britain's research into a common steroid drug which has been shown to improve survival rates for patients who're seriously ill with coronavirus.

The Minister says they want to assess the full outcomes of the trial. 

But in the meantime, intravenous or oral doses of Dexamethasone may be considered for ten days for coronavirus patients who are being mechanically ventilated.

Mkhize says the steroid may be considered for those admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and require oxygen support – especially those needing high-flow nasal oxygen or non-invasive ventilation.

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