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Remdesivir linked to reduced death risk in severe Covid-19 patients

The mortality rate for patients treated with remdesivir in the analysis was 7.6 per cent at Day 14 compared with 12.5 per cent among patients not taking remdesivir.

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New York, July 11 : New data revealed by Gilead Sciences has shown that its antiviral drug remdesivir reduces death risk of severe Covid-19 patients by as much as 62 per cent when compared with standard care alone.

This is an important finding that requires confirmation in prospective clinical trials, Gilead said on Friday about the results presented at the virtual COVID-19 conference as part of the 23rd International AIDS Conference.

The analysis included 312 patients treated in the Phase-3 SIMPLE-Severe study and a separate real-world retrospective cohort of 818 patients with similar baseline characteristics and disease severity who received standard of care treatment in the same time period as the SIMPLE-Severe study.

Patients were primarily located in North America (92 per cent, remdesivir cohort vs. 91 per cent, standard-of-care cohort), Europe (5 per cent vs. 7 per cent) and Asia (3 per cent vs. 2 per cent).

The analysis demonstrated that remdesivir treatment was associated with significantly improved clinical recovery and a 62 percent reduction in the risk of mortality compared to standard of care.

Findings from the comparative analysis showed that 74.4 per cent of remdesivir-treated patients recovered by Day 14 versus 59 per cent of patients receiving standard of care.

The mortality rate for patients treated with remdesivir in the analysis was 7.6 per cent at Day 14 compared with 12.5 per cent among patients not taking remdesivir.

“This comparative analysis provides valuable additional information regarding the benefit of remdesivir compared with standard of care alone,” Susan Olender of Columbia University Irving Medical Center said in a statement.

“While not as vigorous as a randomized controlled trial, this analysis importantly draws from a real-world setting and serves as an important adjunct to clinical trial data, adding to our collective understanding of this virus and reflecting the extraordinary pace of the ongoing pandemic.”

The results of this comparative analysis add to the previously presented National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, which showed that remdesivir shortened time to recovery by an average of four days as compared to placebo — 11 vs. 15 days.

In the NIAID study, patients taking remdesivir trended toward lower mortality compared with those in the placebo group, but this result did not reach statistical significance –7.1 percent vs. 11.9 per cent.

Due to the current public health emergency, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for remdesivir for the treatment of hospitalised patients with severe Covid-19.

“These data presented at the Virtual COVID-19 Conference shed additional light on the use of remdesivir in specific patient populations, including those that may be susceptible to higher rates of COVID-19 infection, as well as others that are particularly vulnerable, including children and pregnant and postpartum women,” said Merdad Parsey, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Gilead Sciences.

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5.5-magnitude earthquake rattles northern Philippines

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MANILA, Aug. 13 : An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.5 shook Batanes province in the northern Philippines on Thursday, the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology (Phivolcs) said.

The institute said the quake, which struck at 6:32 a.m. local time, hit at a depth of 14 kilometers, about 49 kilometers southwest of Sabtang town.

The institute said the quake, which was tectonic in origin, will trigger aftershocks but will not cause damage.

The Philippines has frequent seismic activity due to its location along the Pacific “Ring of Fire.”

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5.3-magnitude quake hits 62 km SW of Surab, Pakistan: USGS

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NEW YORK, Aug. 12 : An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 jolted 62 km southwest of Surab, Pakistan at 22:40:45 GMT on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 10.96 km, was initially determined to be at 27.9781 degrees north latitude and 65.9996 degrees east longitude.

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60,963 new corona cases take India tally across 23L

Notably, the fatality rate, which is the proportion of people who die of the disease among individuals diagnosed, has dropped to about two per cent, the Ministry said.

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New Delhi: India’s novel Coronavirus tally crossed the 23-lakh mark on Wednesday with detection of 60,963 new cases in the last 24 hours, while 834 more fatalities took the death toll to 46,091, the Health Ministry said.

Out of the total 2,329,638 cases, recoveries surged to 1,639,599 as a record 56,110 more patients recovered during the period. The recovery rate is nearly 70 per cent now. The active cases in the country currently total 6,43,948.

Notably, the fatality rate, which is the proportion of people who die of the disease among individuals diagnosed, has dropped to about two per cent, the Ministry said.

The country had touched the 20-lakh mark on August 7 and added more than 3,00,000 cases in less than five days. The silver lining, however, is that the gap between recoveries and active cases is growing every day. Currently, recoveries are 10 lakh more than the active cases.

As many as 7,33,449 samples were tested on Tuesday, taking the total to 2,60,15,297 samples till date, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research.

Maharashtra remained the worst-hit state with a total of 5,24,513 cases and 18,050 deaths, followed by Tamil Nadu with 302,815 cases and 5041 deaths. The southern state is followed by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Chief Ministers and representatives of 10 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh for a review meeting.

He mentioned that almost 80 per cent of the active cases are from the participating 10 states, and if the virus is defeated in these states, the entire country will emerge victorious in the battle against COVID-19.

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