In order to prevent COVID-19 turning serious and requiring hospital treatment, the UK government has recently announced a new task-force, which will develop new drugs to save the life of persons with mild coronavirus symptoms.
Boris Johnson, the UK's Prime Minister, unveiled that the government is launching an antivirals task-force to find at least 2 drugs by the end of September so that people can take to stop COVID-19 in its tracks and speed up recovery from it.
The UK is gradually easing its lockdown restrictions by opening gyms, restaurants and non essential businesses.
Scientists still believe that there will be another wave of COVID-19 at some stage in 2021 if the government doesn't act now.
Boris Johnson suggested the antivirals research would form part of a 3 pronged approach to tackle another wave of COVID-19.
People with mild symptoms will take booster jabs in the autumn to combat new variants and the government will continue promoting more mass testing centres.
The reopening of the UK economy will proceed as planned, despite the warnings of scientists of the arrival of new strains.
The British government hopes that the antivirals task-force will match the success of the vaccines task-force, which bought a range of effective coronavirus jabs for the UK and has put the country ahead of most of the world in immunisation against COVID-19.
New drugs that work against COVID-19 and its variants could save the life of millions in the early stage of the disease.
Most of the drugs discovered so far have been for use by people severely ill in hospitals. Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug, was the biggest breakthrough.
Dexamethasone was identified in the UK’s Recovery trial and is now saving the lives of millions all over the world. The drug is given at low doses and is now the standard treatment for the sickest patients. Dexamethasone is a cheap steroid already in widespread use, which can dampen down the overreaction of the immune system in severe cases in response to COVID-19.
Now that there are far fewer deaths in the United Kingdom, more attention is being paid to drugs that could help stop mild COVID-19 infection from progressing to a more serious illness.
The task-force is likely to focus on antiviral monoclonal antibodies – proteins made in the laboratory to fight the virus as the immune system does. The former US President Donald Trump was given an antibody cocktail that may have speeded his recovery from COVID-19. However, they are expensive and there have been questions over whether these drugs will be fully effective against other variants.
The current success of the COVID-19 vaccination programme has demonstrated what the world can achieve by bringing together the brightest minds together, following social distancing measures and listening to scientists.
The new antivirals task-force will seek to develop innovative treatments that people can take at home to stop COVID-19 in its tracks. New drugs for mild symptoms could provide another vital defence against any future increase in infections and save more lives.
The UK is committed to boosting its position as a life science superpower and this new task-force will help the country beat COVID-19 and build back better.