The UAE on Saturday announced a new armory weapon against Covid-19-a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent virus-related deaths and hospitalization.
The UAE is the first country in the world to allow the immediate use of the drug Sotrovimab manufactured by British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline. The drug, according to Abdulrahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, speeds up the recovery of patients, reduces the load on intensive care units and saves lives.
The drug was cleared by the FDA for emergency use on May 26. In an announcement, the regulator said: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency permit to use the investigational monoclonal antibody therapy Sotrovimab for treatment. of mild to moderate Covid. -19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kilograms) with a positive outcome in a direct SARS-CoV-2 test that viral and who are at high risk for developing severe Covid-19, including hospitalization or death. ”The drug may also be given to those aged 65 and over and those with comorbidities.
Focusing on the protein spike
However, the FDA notice warns that the drug “Sotrovimab is not approved for patients hospitalized due to Covid-19 or requiring oxygen therapy due to Covid-19”. Sotrovimab contains lab-made proteins that mimic the naturally occurring antibody, which target the SARS-CoV-2 protein spike and block the virus from entering human cells.
The drug is the latest in the UAE’s growing arsenal against Coronavirus and it could also help prevent the spread of the virus. The country administers four vaccines – Sinopharm, Pfizer -BioNTech, Sputnik V and Oxford -AstraZeneca – to citizens and residents at no cost. In the coming weeks, Sotrovimab is expected to appreciate the UAE’s efforts to have a fresh burst and curb the spread of the strains.
As the UAE inches towards full penetration, the restrictions will be further eased, allowing schools, businesses and malls to continue normal operations. Many of the UAE’s methods to tackle the virus are yielding the consequences of infecting new infections and mortality.
Preventive measures, including safety restrictions and vaccines play a major role in slowing outbreaks. Experiences in countries hit by repeated outbreaks tell us that people are the first line of defense against the virus. Vaccination and therapies can only be effective if people follow safety protocols. Therefore, people should continue to practice social isolation, wearing a mask and adhering to basic cleanliness.