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  • Treatments to tackle the pandemic, which has killed more than 5.2 million people worldwide, have so far focused mainly on vaccines. Other options, including Gilead’s infused antiviral remdesivir and generic steroid dexamethasone, are generally only given after a patient has been hospitalised.

    Merck’s molnupiravir has been closely watched since data last month showed it could halve the chances of dying or being hospitalised for those most at risk of developing severe COVID-19 when given early in the illness.

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