CAPE TOWN – Dexamethasone is an anti-inflammatory Covid-19 breakthrough treatment currently being used in South African hospitals as a treatment to relieve inflammation to various parts of the body.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize said in an interview with eNCA that the drug should be seen as a treatment and not a cure and that it has improved circumstances for those on ventilators by 20 percent.
“This means it reduces the number of people who die. It does not necessarily stop anyone from succumbing to Covid-19, said Mkhize.
“It has no effect on people with milder symptoms. It should also be understood that if the number of infected becomes ‘too huge’ then you will end up with people who are not even able to reach the hospital because of the large numbers (of people) overwhelming our health services.
“So the balance of this very helpful drug needs to be understood in this context,” he said.
The latest numbers show South Africa has reached a total of 101 590 infections and 1 991 deaths, with the Western Cape making up more than 50 percent of that total infection rate.
“The stocks we have in the country is enough as dexamethasone has been used for decades in South Africa and many other countries all over the world for other conditions,” said Mkhize.
“At the moment we have over 340 000 vials which means we will have enough for the next couple of weeks. But we will continue increasing our stocks and producing more,” he said.
For LIVE updates on the Coronavirus pandemic, follow us on Twitter : @sacoronamonitor