With no vaccine in sight and coronavirus death toll crossing 440K worldwide, Tuesday brought a glimmer of hope when UK-led clinical trial "RECOVERY" stated that low doses of the generic steroid drug dexamethasone to patients affected with COVID-19 reduced death rates by around a third among those with the most severe cases of infection.
Calling it a "major breakthrough", the authors went on to suggest that the drug become a standard medicine for patients being treated in hospitals for the deadly disease.
That dexamethasone could cure COVID-19 disease became a huge talking point back in India especially at a time when the cases of patients contracting coronavirus have been shooting up drastically in the past few days.
Soon after, Indians took to google to search up their queries regarding dexamethasone drug. The searches ranged from price of dexamethasone, availability of the drug, dexamethasone's manufacturer, and dexamethasone brands. Also Read:5 Times Indian Politicians Came up with Bizarre Solutions to Prevent Coronavirus
Source: Google Trends
Notably, the curiosity around dexamethasone was the highest in Arunachal Pradesh followed by Sikkim, Delhi, Goa and Nagaland. The news of dexamethasone showing results against the disease also hyped up Twitter.
Medical experts also advised against popping the drug and self-medicating without a prescription from a doctor.
Meanwhile, The World Health Organization has welcomed the initial clinical trial results from the UK.
"This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support," WHO quoted its Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
"This is great news and I congratulate the Government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough."
According to a report published in BBC, dexamethasone is already used to reduce inflammation in a number of other conditions and has been found to stop some of the damage when the body goes into the deadly cytokine storm while trying to fight coronavirus.
Around 2,000 hospital patients were given dexamethasone and were compared with more than 4,000 others who did not receive the drug. Study authors found that it cut the risk of death from 40% to 28% for patients on ventilators. For those needing oxygen, it cut the risk of death from 25% to 20%, the report further stated.