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What did we learn from today’s UK briefing?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson led today’s government press conference.

He was accompanied by the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, and Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases and global health at the University of Oxford.

* The government says that it has adequate supplies of a drug, dexamethasone, that has shown success in saving the lives of people who become seriously ill from coronavirus, including enough for any second peak of cases
* The drug does not have an effect on patients who do not have breathing difficulties, but reduces the risk of death for those who require oxygen or ventilation
* Treating eight intensive care coronavirus patients with the drug will cost £40 and on average save one life
* Sir Patrick emphasised that the drug does not stop people catching the disease or going into hospital, so does not lessen the need for social distancing
* Doctors can prescribe the drug from today, as it is already in stock in hospitals and can be quickly manufactured

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Coronavirus: Dexamethasone proves first life-saving drug. A cheap and widely available drug can help save the lives of patients seriously ill with coronavirus. The low-dose steroid treatment dexamethasone is a major breakthrough in the fight against the deadly virus, UK experts say.

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BBC News Live | Coronavirus Press Conference | UK Government Daily Press Briefing | BBC

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