Dexamethasone a low-dose steroid which has been around since the 60s treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis and asthma has proved, in trials, to cut deaths from high risk COVID-19 patients.

In the words of Professor Peter Horby, “This is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality – and it reduces it significantly. It’s a major breakthrough”.

Dexamethasone has been trialled alongside Hydroxychloquine and Remdesivir. Hydroxychloroquine trials have been abandoned because of health concerns.

Remdesivir which is still being trialled has displayed some success with reducing the duration of the virus, but unlike Dexamethasone it has not been able to show that it can reduce mortality.

So critical is this breakthrough that Professor Martin Landray, a lead researcher, is urging hospitals to administer the drug to all high-risk patients in hospital without delay.

The added benefits of using Dexamethasone are that it is cheap (about £5 per patient per treatment) and it is widely available throughout the world. This will offer immense relief to poorer countries with high COVID-19 patient numbers.

The general public should take note that Dexamethasone does not appear to help patients with milder symptoms so rushing to buy it is seriously discouraged.