New pill could "kill" Covid within days - scientists say

Scientists say a Covid pill may have potential to end repeat lockdowns.

An antiviral that stops symptoms progressing could prevent another devastating wave.

So far the only such antiviral for the early-stages of infection in UK clinical trials is the flu drug Favipiravir - and a result is expected in six months.

Chief trial investigator Prof Kevin Blyth, of Glasgow University, said: “It would be a huge step forward if antiviral drugs work.

“You don’t have any hospital services being put under enormous pressure because patients never come to the hospital.

“Normal services can function and you don’t have to have lockdown or other draconian control measures.”

Favipiravir was developed in Japan in 2014.

The GETAFIX trial is measuring whether it stops Covid patients from becoming more seriously ill using a scoring system from 1 to 10.

If shown to work against SARS-CoV-2 - the virus which causes Covid-19 disease - then millions of doses will be handed out on the NHS.

Eventually a daily tablet could “kill” coronavirus if taken within a few days of a positive test.

“Certainly over the next six months we should be able to get an answer,” Prof Blyth told the Mirror.

“If this drug did work in reducing hospital attendances and the risk of having a bad outcome, then you might want to test it in people who’ve just been exposed.

“You may be able to reduce spread and the risk of outbreaks happening.”

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