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  • Healthcare workers stage a protest asking for improved work conditions, Paris, France, Oct. 15, 2020.

    Healthcare workers stage a protest asking for improved work conditions, Paris, France, Oct. 15, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 16 October 2020
Opinion

The World Health Organization's studies show that Dexamethasone is the only drug proven to increase COVID-19 survival rates.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday warned that the number of patients in intensive care units (ICU) will increase markedly in some European cities.

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"Last week, the number of cases reported in Europe was three times higher than the number reported during the pandemic's first peak in March," WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Although the increase in COVID-19 cases on this continent is worrying, local health systems and their professionals are now in a better position to respond to a new spike in infections.

"Diagnostic capacity has increased, health workers are more trained and experienced, and public awareness of what to do exists," the MERS-CoV Task Force director Maria Van Kerkhove explained.

Because of the increase in COVID-19 cases, the French authorities reported that a new curfew will come into force on Friday night in Paris, Lyon, Aix-en-Provence-Marseille, Toulouse, Lille, Montpellier, Grenoble, Rouen, and Saint-Etienne.

This measure, which will apply from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for 4 weeks, was taken since France registered 30,621 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours.

On a related issue, the WHO director also indicated that the corticosteroid Dexamethasone is still the only therapeutic shown to be effective in the treatment of severe COVID-19 cases.

"In June we announced we would discontinue the studies with Hydroxychloroquine. In July, it was reported that we would not use more patients for the Lopinavir/Ritonavir trials. Now interim results show that... Remdesivir and Interferon have little or no effect on reducing COVID-19 deaths," he said.

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