coronavirus in us: US approves experimental drug for emergency use on coronavirus patients

WASHINGTON: American authorities have approved an experimental drug for emergency use on coronavirus patients, as more US states eased pandemic lockdowns despite another spike in deaths from the disease.

The approval is the latest step in a global push to find viable treatments and a vaccine for the coronavirus, which has left half of humanity under some form of lockdown and has hammered the world economy. More than 3.34 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 237,137 have died, according to a Reuters tally on Saturday. Remdesivir, an antiviral drug initially developed to treat Ebola, was given the green light on Friday after a major trial found that it boosted recovery in serious Covid-19 patients. “It’s really a very promising situation,” President Donald Trump said on Friday at the White House, where he was joined by Daniel O’Day, CEO of Gilead Sciences, which developed Remdesivir.

The drug incorporates itself into the virus’s genome, shortcircuiting its replication process. Its approval came as the US leaders struggled with growing pressure from citizens weary of stay-at-home orders.

With about 1.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases and nearly 65,000 deaths, the US has the highest toll of any country, and Trump is keen for a turnaround as the world’s largest economy reels with tens of millions left jobless. Governments around the world are struggling to balance the immense political and economic pressure to ease lockdowns with the need for public health measures against the spread of the virus.

Several European countries have begun to lift restrictions, with authorities in some of the hardest-hit parts like Spain reporting signs that the pandemic there was slowing.

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