Dexamethasone has not caused COVID-19 death spike in Duhok: health directorate

A Dexamethasone packet (Photo courtesy of Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

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SULAIMANI — Duhok Health Directorate said on Sunday (September 20) that it medicates coronavirus patients according to international protocols established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and rejected allegations that its use of the corticosteroid Dexamethasone has caused a spike in deaths.

“Dexamethasone is allowed by the World Health Organization for use with life-threatening patients,” the directorate said in a press release.

According to the WHO, limited trials of the drug with coronavirus patients have shown potential benefits and have not indicated any serious side effects, particularly from short-term use.

Hisham Yousif, a professional immunologist, told NRT Digital Media that Dexamethasone “should be used under the close observation of physicians and supervised by experts in the field. If not, it could have serious risk.”

Duhok Health Directorate also said that the mortality rate is 1.7 percent in the governorate, compared with a tentative worldwide mortality rate of 3 percent.

In recent weeks, Duhok has seen a severe spike in infections. The governorate had been relatively unaffected during much of the spring and summer.

On Sunday, the KRG health ministry said recorded 168 new infections and eleven deaths in Duhok over the past 24 hours, along with more than 400 new cases.

There have been 41,002 cases of coronavirus in the Kurdistan Region. An official tally of 26,464 patients has recovered from COVID-19, the lung disease caused by coronavirus infection, and 1,519 have died from it.

(NRT Digital Media)