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Dr Hilary gives details on 'promising' coronavirus breakthrough drug 

Dr Hilary gave viewers advice about the promising new drug for treating COVID-19 patients 

Emmy Griffiths

Dr Hilary has given Good Morning Britain viewers an update on the drug that has proved to be very beneficial in a recent clinical trial, but also warned the public that it was by no means a cure, and that it is only useful to those severely ill from the virus. 

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Chatting on the breakfast show, he explained: "It's really promising, it's certainly cut the death rate in a randomised clinical trial. The 28-day mortality rate is decreased by 17 per cent so nearly a fifth of people surviving who perhaps wouldn't have survived without dexamethasone.

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WATCH: Dr Hilary speaks about the drug that has proven helpful in clinical trial

"It's been around for a long time and suppresses the immune response when that becomes overwhelming and dangerous. So we know that in some people, the inflammation that the COVID-19 virus causes, you get an outpouring of fluid into the lungs, and this suppresses all of that." 

However, the TV doctor went on to say that we "shouldn't get carried away" with the promising results. "Look, the death rate even with dexamethasone is still 28 per cent," he said. "So it’s still massively high, this is still a very nasty virus. The future for our country in terms of health means people must still be really careful about social distancing. That with handwashing is still going to be the most controlling thing until we have a very robust test and trace system." 

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Dr Hilary Jones and his wife Dee Thresher

He also confirmed that the drug was not preventative, and asked the public not to rush out and buy it, explaining: "It is of no use whatsoever in people who have a mild disease, so if you’re not using oxygen or in need of a ventilator it will not benefit you whatsoever." 

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Speaking about the update, one viewer tweeted: "I'm pleased that a drug can help a fifth of those who become seriously ill with COVID. However I'm also pleased Dr Hilary put it into perspective. It won't help most of that bracket."