WHO warns against taking remdesivir
Remdesivir, one of the drugs Donald Trump took when he developed Covid-19, should not be used in hospitals because there is no evidence it works, the World Health Organization has advised.
The US president was an enthusiastic proponent of the drug, to the point where he boasted in July that he had bought up the world’s entire stock for Americans. The WHO’s guidelines committee, however, has said Covid patients may be better off without it.
The WHO issued what it calls a “living guideline”, which can be updated as evidence comes in, largely as a result of a Solidarity trial it led in several countries. Solidarity allocated patients randomly to several drugs including remdesivir and found that those who took it were no more likely to survive severe Covid than those who did not.
There are other issues with remdesivir. Made by the US company Gilead, is extremely expensive and has to be given intravenously. The guideline, published in the British Medical Journal, concluded that “most patients would not prefer intravenous treatment with remdesivir given the low certainty evidence. Any beneficial effects of remdesivir, if they do exist, are likely to be small and the possibility of important harm remains”:
The NHS is preparing to open dozens of mass vaccination centres across England to vaccinate people against Covid-19.
There will be at least 42 centres, based in places such as conference centres, and the NHS is planning to hire tens of thousands of staff to run them, the Health Service Journal reported.
The fresh details of how people will get the vaccine come as NHS England prepares to publish its “deployment plan” for how it will store, distribute and administer the vaccine:
California enacts coronavirus curfew for majority of state’s 40m residents
CDC advises against Thanksgiving travel
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised Americans not to travel for next week’s Thanksgiving holiday, due to the nationwide surge in new coronavirus cases.
“CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period,” Dr Henry Walke, the CDC’s coronavirus incident manager, said during a briefing today.
“For Americans who decide to travel, CDC recommends doing so as safely as possible by following the same recommendations for everyday living,” Walke added.
Walke particularly expressed fear about the possibility of Americans unknowingly spreading coronavirus to family members, saying, “One of our concerns is that as people over the holiday season get together, they may actually be bringing infections with them to that small gathering and not even know it.”
In a set of updated guidelines, the CDC recommended celebrating Thanksgiving virtually or only with members of one’s own household.
The guidance says, “In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk.”
The news comes a day after the US coronavirus death toll surpassed 250,000, which is far higher than any other country in the world: