The World Health Organisation on Friday has approved the use of two new treatments against the deadly Coronavirus in the wake of the rapid surge in the number of cases worldwide. The number of infections is increasing steeply owing to the Omicron variant of the virus that has gripped the world.
The treatments have been approved to prevent severe illness and death caused by the virus. This news has come at a very crucial time as the WHO has estimated that half of the European population will get infected by the virus by March.
WHO experts have recommended the arthritis drug called ‘Baricitinib’ used with corticosteroids in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). This drug can be used to treat severe and critical Covid patients. It will lead to better survival rates in patients and will also reduce the need for ventilators. The synthetic antibody treatment called ‘Sotrovimab’ has also been recommended by the experts for patients who are not serious but are at the highest risk for hospitalization mainly elderly people, or people with immunodeficiencies or chronic illnesses such as diabetes. But the WHO said that the ‘Sotrovimab’ is insignificant for people who are not at risk of hospitalization and the effectiveness of the drug against the new variants like the Omicron was not certain yet.
WHO has given its approval to only three other treatments against the Coronavirus. The first one was corticosteroids for severely ill patients that got their approval in September 2020.
Corticosteroids are widely accessible and are affordable. These help in fighting inflammation that accompanies severe cases. WHO endorsed two arthritis drugs called ‘Tocilizumab’ and ‘Sarilumab’ in July are IL-6 inhibitors and can suppress a dangerous overreaction of the human immune system to the virus. ‘Barticinib’ belongs to a class of drugs called the Janus Kinase inhibitors but it falls under the same guidelines as the IL-6.
The guidelines have asked to choose one according to the cost and clinical experience in case both of them are available. ‘Regeneron’, a synthetic antibody treatment was also approved by the WHO in September. The guidelines have stated that the ‘Sotrovimab’ can be used for the same type of patients as the ‘Regeneron’.
The World Health Organisation updates the treatments regularly on the basis of the new data that is made available to them from clinical trials. These arsenals of tools are needed to tackle the Coronavirus that is taking lives all over the world.