New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday gave a green signal to the use of steroid dexamethasone as alternative to methylprednisolone for moderate and severe COVID-19 patients in need of oxygen support who experience excessive inflammatory response. For the same, the Health Ministry also revised clinical management protocol for COVID-19.Also Read - Rajasthan Eases Covid-19 restrictions; Schools To Resume Physical Classes From February 1. Details HERE

According to a research, scientists found that dexamethasone reduced deaths by one-third in ventilated patients, and by one fifth in other patients receiving oxygen only. However, the researchers said there was no benefit from dexamethasone among the patients who did not require respiratory support. Also Read - Odisha: Shree Jagannath temple in Puri to reopen from February 1

Based on these results, the scientists believe that the drug could prevent nearly one death in the treatment of around eight ventilated patients, or around 25 patients requiring oxygen alone. Also Read - Plan To Retain Schedule As It Is With The Six Venues: Women's World Cup CEO

The drug, according to the scientists, is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide.

Earlier, this month loss of smell and taste was added as the new symptom of COVID-19 by the Health Ministry.

Marking yet another highest single-day spike, India on Saturday recorded 18,552 fresh infections and 384 deaths, taking the total tally beyond 5,00,000-mark. With the addition of over 18,000 patients in just 24 hours, India’s count of coronavirus cases soared to 5,08,953, while the death toll zoomed past 15,000– 15,685 to be specific.