The World Health Organization (WHO) has on Friday recommended two new drugs, Baricitinib and Sotrovimab for the treatment of COVID-19, giving more options for treating the disease. According to the health body, the first drug, Baricitinib, is strongly recommended for patients with severe or critical COVID cases, however, cautioning nations against treating the Omicron variant as "common cold or mild", noting 15 million infections in seven days.
“About 15 million cases in seven days is a record high. We have seen 43,000 deaths. You do see a lower proportion of cases dying but as Omicron circulates among the vulnerable, we will see increasing hospitalisations and deaths,” said WHO technical lead on Covid Maria Van Kerkhove.
Baricitinib is a part of a class of drugs called Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors that suppress the overstimulation of the immune system. It is an oral drug used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
The WHO also conditionally recommended monoclonal antibody drug, Sotrovimab for treating mild or moderate COVID in patients at high risk of hospitalization. The patients include, older, immunocompromised, with underlying health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and unvaccinated patients.