GMB’s Dr Hilary explains how arthritis drugs can help keep Covid patients alive

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Good Morning Britain 's Dr Hilary Jones says it's "good news" that two arthritis drugs, tocilizumab and sarilumab, can cut the death rate of Covid by 24%.

But, he said, the death rate is still 28% and warned "now is not the the time to get complacent".

He explained: "These two medications are already being used for patients with rheumatoid arthritis where you have got unwanted inflammation.

They have been used to help people who are seriously ill from Covid, in intensive care, who are already on oxygen and steroid therapy.

"If you treat 12 of them with these medications, tocilizumab and sarilumab, you save one life.

"Compare that to statins, which millions of people are on, you’ve got to treat 100 people to save two lives.

Dr Hilary had a strong message for people who believe the virus is a hoax

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"So this is a really good ratio, but even with these drugs, the death rate is 28%, so while this is good news, it still has to be tempered with reality."

Dr Hilary went on: "These medications are not treating Covid, they are keeping people alive.

"So whilst we have got fewer people in the mortuaries, we have got more in the hospitals right now, beds are completely full in most of London and we have rising numbers of cases.

Tocilizumab, taken from BioWorld and Roche

"So we have to be realistic, we have got better treatments, and some good news as we have vaccination roll outs, we have got lockdown and we have got new medications and airport testing, all of which could be better but we are getting there slowly."

Dr Hilary called for more footage from hospitals to be used to convince people of how seriously they must take the lockdown.

"We need footage of patients being nursed on fronts, with oxygen, panting for breath," he said.

Dr Hilary fears people are not taking the lockdown measures seriously any more

"We need to wake up to this new reality."

He called the new guidance that says people must provide a negative Covid test upon entry to the country "good news but too late".

He added that the tests should be a PCR test, because otherwise results can be faked.

* Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am

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