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Brazilian Study Finds Hydroxychloroquine Ineffective

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The hydroxychloroquine touted by United States president Donald Trump and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro to treat coronavirus has again been found to be ineffective in the treatment of the virus after a large study in Brazil.

Bolsonaro’s government in May had recommended that hospitals prescribe the drug to coronavirus patients. The president himself has said he is taking it after testing positive for Covid-19 in early July.

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In a clinical study conducted on 667 patients with mild to moderate symptoms in 55 hospitals in Brazil and published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that the drug does not effectively treat Covid-19 and could have damaging side effects.

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The paper’s authors cautioned the trial had its limitations, they explained further that “the trial cannot definitively rule out either a substantial benefit of the trial drugs or a substantial harm”.

Earlier this year, hydroxychloroquine made headlines when it was hoped the malaria drug could also help people sick with Covid-19.

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But after a large trial at Oxford University in June found hydroxychloroquine to be ineffective, the World Health Organization halted its own studies.

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Global COVID-19 Cases Pass 31 Million As US Death Toll Tops 200,000

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Global COVID-19 Cases Exceed 31 Million

More than 31 million persons around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and nearly one million globally have died from it.

Since the first cases were detected in china in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.

The total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the United States has on Tuesday surpassed the 200,000 mark as the country continues to see a rise in infections.

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According to data by the Johns Hopkins University, the US has now registered 6,861,211 infections in which 200,005 have died

California has the highest number in the United States with nearly eight hundred thousand persons diagnosed. Johns Hopkins University reports California is followed by Texas with more than 734,000 cases and Florida with 685,000.

Earlier on Monday, United Kingdom’s chief medical officers (CMOs) have recommended moving the country’s COVID-19 alert level from level 3 to level 4, the second highest level, in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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As part measures aimed at halting the accelerating second wave of the novel coronavirus, British prime minister Boris Johnson has on Tuesday set out new restrictions to fight against COVID-19 in Parliament, saying the country has reached a “perilous turning point.”

Johnson confirmed that pubs and restaurants in England will have a 10 p.m. curfew from Thursday, and only table service will be allowed. Staff are advised to work from home if they can, despite a governmental advice issued earlier this month to head back to workplaces.

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The prime minister added that the limit on wedding guests will also be reduced from 30 to 15.

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Global Coronavirus Cases Surpass 30 Million

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Global Coronavirus Cases Surpass 30 Million

Johns Hopkins University says more than 30 million people around the world have tested positive for coronavirus infection, and more than 20 million of them have recovered.

New Zealand reported no new cases of the coronavirus for the first time in five weeks as Australia’s Victoria City experienced a spike in infections.

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Canada’s top medical officer, dr. Theresa tam, has warned of a resurgence and that the country could lose its ability to manage the pandemic because of a spike in new COVID-19 cases.

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Authorities have also set a new rule, clamping down on parties, and fines for people who hold social gatherings in defiance of new limits.

Meanwhile, the European Medicines Agency has endorsed the use of widely known steroid dexamethasone for the treatment of COVID-19 patients on oxygen or mechanical ventilation.

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EU Endorses Dexamethasone For Patients On Oxygen Therapy

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EU Endorses Dexamethasone For Patients On Oxygen Therapy

The European health regulator has on Friday endorsed using dexamethasone to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients with breathing difficulty, paving way for the steroidal medication to possibly become the region’s second approved medication for the illness.

Back in July, Gilead’s antiviral drug, remdesivir, was the first to be approved for COVID-19 by Europe a month after the EMA endorsed the drug.

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And now, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said based on its review of results of a study by UK researchers, it concluded that dexamethasone – a commonly used drug against a range of inflammatory conditions – can be considered a treatment option in adults and adolescents needing oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation.

While approvals are up to the European commission, it typically follows the EMA’s recommendation for its decision.

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The EMA said the recommended dose in adults and adolescents, from 12 years of age and weighing at least 40 kgs, is 6 milligrams once a day for up to 10 days.

On Friday, the global confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed 30 million as the number of deaths from virus neared one million.

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According to data by the Johns Hopkins University, some 20.4 million persons have recovered from the disease worldwide.

The United States remains the worst-hit country in the world, logging more than 6.7 million cases. India and Brazil had 5.1 million and 4.4 million cases, respectively.

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