Representational image Credit: Representational image

New Delhi: Coronavirus patients who were administered with the antiviral drug remdesivir were seen recovering about 30 percent faster than those on a placebo, the results of a major clinical trial showed on April 29, as a top US epidemiologist hailed the drug’s confirmed benefit in treating COVID-19 patients.

The finding shows that first time any medication has shown to improve outcomes against coronavirus, which has claimed more than 220,000 lives globally and brought the world economy to a complete halt.

The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which oversaw the trial, said that patients who were given remdesivir showed a 31 percent faster time to recovery than those on a placebo.

For Anthony Fauci, who leads the NIAID and has been one of the government’s main man during the pandemic crisis, “The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery.”

“Although a 31 percent improvement doesn’t seem like a knockout 100 percent, it is a very important proof of concept because what it has proven is that a drug can block this virus,” said Fauci while speaking to the reporters at the White House in Washington DC.

The results also showed that people who were on the drug were less likely to die, although the difference was negligible. The mortality rate was 8.0 percent for the group of patients receiving remdesivir versus 11.6 percent for the patients on placebo.

The trial for the remdesivir drug began on February 21 and involved 1,063 people across 68 locations in the United States, Europe and Asia.

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