Dr Hilary Jones has warned that people shouldn’t be complacent about coronavirus after it was revealed that two arthritis drugs can help to keep Covid-19 patients alive.
Speaking to Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard on Friday’s Good Morning Britain, the GP said that drugs tocilizumab and sarilumab can cut the death rate of the virus by 24%.
‘These two medications are already being used for patients with rheumatoid arthritis where you have got unwanted inflammation, have been shown to be helpful to people who are seriously ill from Covid, in intensive care, who are already on oxygen and steroid therapy,’ he began.
‘So in those patients, if you treat 12 of them with these medications, tocilizumab and sarilumab, you save one life for every 12 patients you treat.’
‘Compare that to statins, which millions of people are on, you’ve got to treat 100 people to save two lives,’ he added.
Despite the drugs ‘keeping people alive’, Dr Hilary went on to add that the death rate is still 28%, so we can’t get complacent.
Dr Hilary claims two arthritis drugs can help keep Covid-19 patients alive (Picture: ITV)
He continued: ‘All the medications we are using for Covid-19 are not treating the virus they are keeping people alive.
‘So whilst we have got less people in the mortuaries, we have got more in the hospitals right now. ITU beds are completely full in most of London and we have rising numbers of cases.
‘So we have to be realistic, we have got better treatments, we’ve got good news as we have vaccination rollouts, we have got lockdown and we have got new medications and airport testing, all of which could be better but we are getting there slowly.’
The TV doctor went on to call for more footage from hospitals to be used so that it convinces people how seriously they must take the lockdown.
‘We need footage of patients being nursed on fronts, with oxygen, panting for breath,’ he explained.
It comes after it was reported that weekly coronavirus cases jumped by a quarter in the last week of 2020, according to the latest test and trace figures.
More than 300,000 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England at least once in the week to December 30.
This is up 24% on the previous week and is the highest weekly total since test and trace began in May.
Good Morning Britain airs daily at 6am on ITV.