In Brief: Taiwan approves use of dexamethasone

A trial had showed dexamethasone as the first drug to save lives of Covid-19 patients.
A trial had showed dexamethasone as the first drug to save lives of Covid-19 patients.PHOTO: REUTERS

Taiwan approves use of dexamethasone

TAIPEI • Taiwan provisionally approved the use of dexamethasone, a cheap and widely used steroid, to treat Covid-19, as the island faces a shortfall of antiviral drug remdesivir after the United States bought nearly all global supplies.

Taiwan Centres for Disease Control deputy director-general Chuang Jen-hsiang told reporters yesterday that medical experts had decided to provisionally allow dexamethasone to be listed as a Covid-19 treatment, but that procedures still needed to be completed before it could be given to any patients.


Latin America cases cross five million

ASUNCION • Latin America surpassed five million confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Monday, a Reuters tally showed, underscoring the region's position as the area of the world hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The more than 10,000 new cases that Colombia's Health Ministry reported on Monday pushed the region past the five million mark, a day after the Andean nation reported a record 11,470 cases.

Mexico has also racked up record numbers of new confirmed infections in recent days, registering over 9,000 daily cases for the first time last Saturday.

The region has now topped more than 200,000 deaths.


Germany battling 2nd wave: Doctors' union

BERLIN • Germany is already contending with a second wave of the coronavirus and risks squandering its early success by flouting social distancing rules, the head of the German doctors' union said.

The number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases has ticked up steadily in recent weeks, with health experts warning that lax adherence to hygiene and distancing rules among some of the public is spreading the virus across communities.

"We are already in a second, shallow upswing," Dr Susanne Johna, president of Marburger Bund, which represents doctors in Germany, said in an interview published yesterday by Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.

Europe's biggest economy has so far withstood the pandemic with far fewer deaths than some large neighbours like France and Italy.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2020, with the headline 'In Brief'. Print Edition | Subscribe