WHO Sees “Green Shoots” of Hope in COVID-19 Pandemic

GENEVA/LONDON (Reuters) -
Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, in February, 2020. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse/File Photo)

Signs of hope are starting to show in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, but it added that countries must continue to work on prevention measures to limit the spread of the new coronavirus.

While cases are “still rapidly rising” in many regions of the world, there are “green shoots of hope,” the WHO’s Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in an online media briefing.

Tedros also said it was “very welcome news” that the initial results of a clinical trial had shown that a cheap, common steroid known as dexamethasone can help save critically ill patients.

Trial results announced on Tuesday by researchers in Britain showed dexamethasone, used since the 1960s to reduce inflammation in diseases such as arthritis, cut death rates by around a third among the most severely ill COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital.