Covid-19 update: Ramaphosa addresses SA, Covid-19 treatment announced

Covid-19 update: Ramaphosa addresses SA, Covid-19 treatment announced

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a number of relaxations to the current national lockdown. explores the latest updates in the fight against the virus in SA.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed South Africa on Wednesday evening to announce a number of relaxations concerning the Covid-19 lockdown. explores the latest stories relating to the pandemic in the country:

1. Ramaphosa relaxes Level 3 restrictions: Restaurants, cinemas open

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the migration to a more relaxed Level 3 lockdown on Wednesday evening.

Reminding citizens of their own personal duty to limit the spread of the virus, urging everyone to continue practising social distancing, hand washing and using a cloth mask in public spaces.

Cabinet has decided to ease restrictions on restaurants for sit-down meals, accommodation facilities, conference facilities, cinemas and theatres, casinos, personal care services (including hairdressers and beauty services), non-contact sports, contact sports (but only for training).

2. Dexamethasone: Breakthrough Covid-19 treatment is made in SA and cheap

A breakthrough treatment has been identified to reduce fatalities amongst seriously ill Covid-19 patients.

Dexamethasone has proven effective in reducing deaths by 33% when it comes to patients on ventilators, according to a study by the University of Oxford. Patients on oxygen support were observed to have improved odds by 20% on the steroid treatment.

The drug has emerged the victor from the world's largest trials testing existing treatments for the virus and there is good news for SA citizens.

This steroid is cheaply available from as little as R149 an injection and even produced by the company Aspen in South Africa.

3. Dexamethasone: WHO welcomes news of breakthrough Covid-19 treatment

The World Health Organization has welcomed the breakthrough in the battle against Covid-19.

The organisation had confirmed that the study had shown success when it came to patients on ventilators and oxygen:

"For patients on ventilators, the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one third, and for patients requiring only oxygen, mortality was cut by about one fifth, according to preliminary findings shared with WHO. The benefit was only seen in patients seriously ill with Covid-19, and was not observed in patients with milder disease."

Commenting on this desperately-needed breakthrough, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, commented:

“This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with Covid-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support. 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.”

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