Update 27 May: A study of nearly 400 hospitalised patients showed that that there was no significant difference in the outcomes of those treated with the medication who received only 5 days of medication, when compared to those who were treated with it for 10 days. Shorter treatment times could extended the supply of the medication available. This latest trial looked at data from nearly 400 hospitalised patients, most of whom were not on ventilators. Some were treated for 5 days and some for 10. In both groups, more than half showed improvement.
Posted 23 May: A trial conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) showed administering the anitiviral, remdesivir, to adults hospitalised with Covid-19 lower respiratory tract infection, shortened the time to recovery by 4 days. The trial recruited 1059 patients who were randomly assigned to receive either remdesivir or a placebo (a substance that has no therapeutic effect, used as a control in testing new drugs) for 10 days (538 assigned to remdesivir and 521 to placebo). The group who received the remdesivir had a median recovery time of 11 days compared with 15 days in those who received the placebo. Remdesivir showed it was most beneficial in patients who need supplemental oxygen, but were not on a ventilator. Researchers also calculated there was no significant difference in fatalities between the two groups, indicating remdesivir would be more effective in combination with other treatments. They stated “Our findings highlight the need to identify COVID-19 cases and start antiviral treatment before the pulmonary disease progresses to require mechanical ventilation”.