HEALTH | WHO Study Finds Remdesivir Didn’t Help COVID-19 Patients

GENEVA – A large study led by the World Health Organization suggests that the antiviral drug Remdesivir did not help hospitalized COVID-19 patients, in contrast to an earlier study that made the medicine a standard of care in the United States and many other countries.

The results announced Friday do not negate the previous ones, and the WHO study was not as rigorous as the earlier one led by the U.S. National Institutes Of Health. But they add to concerns about how much value the pricey drug gives because none of the studies have found it can improve survival.

The drug has not been approved for COVID-19 in the U.S. but it was authorized for emergency use after the previous study found it shortened recovery time by five days on average. It’s approved for use against COVID-19 in the United Kingdom and Europe, and is among the treatments U.S. President Donald Trump received when he was infected earlier this month.

The WHO study involved more than 11,000 patients in 30 countries. About 2,750 were randomly assigned to get remdesivir. The rest got either the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, the immune – system booster interferon, the antivital combo lopinavir – ritonavir, or just usual care. The other drugs have largely been ruled out for COVID-19 by previous studies, but not remdesivir.

Death rates after 28 days, the need for breathing machines and time in the hospital were relatively similar for those given remdesivir versus usual care.

The results have not been published in a journal or reviewed by independent scientist, but were posted on a site researchers use to share results quickly.

Saudi Opens Consular Section Of Kabul Embassy As Of Tuesday – State News Agency

PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia announced that it was opening the consular section in its embassy in Afghani capital of Kabul as of Tuesday to provide consular service to Afghani citizens, state news agency (SPA) report. In August, Saudi evacuated all of its diplomats from the embassy in Kabul after the Taliban movement overtook the … More Saudi Opens Consular Section Of Kabul Embassy As Of Tuesday – State News Agency

Saudi Arabia Halts Flights From More African Nations – State News Agency

PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior halted flights from and to Malawi, Zambia, Madagascar, Angola, Seychelles, Mauritius and the Comoros Islands on Sunday owing to concerns related to the spread of the new COVID-19 strain, state news agency SPA reported on Twitter. Saudi Arabia on Friday suspended flights to and from South Africa, Namibia, … More Saudi Arabia Halts Flights From More African Nations – State News Agency

Turkey Closes Borders To Five Countries Due To New COVID-19 Variant

PARIS, France – Turkey closed its borders to passengers from five countries as a measure against the new coronavirus variant, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Friday. Travellers from Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe will not be allowed to enter as of Friday night due to rising cases of the new variant, Koca … More Turkey Closes Borders To Five Countries Due To New COVID-19 Variant

Saudi – Led Coalition Carries Out Strikes In Yemeni Capital Sanaa – State TV

PARIS, France – The Saudi – led coalition fighting in Yemen said early on Saturday it launched air strikes on military targets in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, asking civilians not to gather around or approach the targeted sites, Saudi state TV reported. The coalition, which intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Iran – … More Saudi – Led Coalition Carries Out Strikes In Yemeni Capital Sanaa – State TV

Oman Bans Travellers From 7 Southern African States Over COVID Variant

PARIS, France – – Oman has suspended entry to travellers from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini starting from Nov.28 due to the spread of a new variant of COVID – 19 discovered in South Africa, the country’s state news agency said in a tweet on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia Suspends Flights To And From Seven Southern African States Over COVID

PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia has suspended flights to and from seven southern African nations due to concentration related to the spread of the new variant of COVID-19. According to a statement carried by the state news agency (SPA), the seven countries are South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini. A senior official in … More Saudi Arabia Suspends Flights To And From Seven Southern African States Over COVID

Saudi Arabia To Lift Entry Ban From Six Countries, Including Egypt, Pakistan And India

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Thursday announced that it will lift an entry ban on expats from six countries that was introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior issued directives to allow direct entry for full vaccinated expatriated from Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Vietnam, Egypt and India without the need to spend … More Saudi Arabia To Lift Entry Ban From Six Countries, Including Egypt, Pakistan And India

Saudi Arabia Working On 160 Privatisation, Says Finance Minister

PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia is working on 160 privatisations and intends to announce more next year, Finance Minister Mohammed al – Jadaan said on Thursday. Speaking at a financial forum in Riyadh, he said plans to privatise assets in the education and logistics sectors were ongoing. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia suspended the privatisation of … More Saudi Arabia Working On 160 Privatisation, Says Finance Minister

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