The World Health Organization said Friday it is recommending two new drugs to treat COVID-19.
The two drugs are baricitinib and sotrovimab. Baricitinib is “strongly recommended,” WHO said, “for patients with severe or critical COVID-19.”
It said Sotrovimab, a monoclonal antibody drug, is “conditionally recommended” for treating mild or moderate COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk of hospitalization.
“The extent to which these medicines will save lives depends on how widely available and affordable they will be,” WHO said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Sweden’s prime minister has tested positive for COVID. A spokesman for Magdalena Andersson said Andersson tested positive after taking a rapid test and that the prime minister will be working from home. Sweden, like many other countries across the globe, is experiencing an outbreak of the highly contagious omicron variant.
In India, officials say they expect 3 million people to attend the Gangassagar Mela, a spiritual pilgrimage, in the eastern region of the country.
"At the crack of dawn, there was a sea of people," local official Bankim Hazra told AFP on Friday.
In what could likely be a superspreader event during India’s raging COVID outbreak, drones have sprayed holy water from the Ganges River on the pilgrims as a deterrent to people submerging themselves in the river.
"But the saints and a large number of people were bent on taking the dip,” Hazra said. “Pilgrims, most of them without masks, outnumbered the security personnel."
The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported early Friday that it has recorded 320.5 million global COVID infections and over 5 million deaths. The center said 9.5 billion vaccines have been administered.