Bangasafe Oro-Nasal Spray, an under-trial drug to treat Covid-19, was found effective in reducing virus load among patients with mild symptoms, researchers and scientists claimed.
The spray, the first of its kind globally, was developed by the researchers of Bangladesh Reference Institute for Chemical Measurements (BRICM) under the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.
The BRICM authorities will shortly apply to the Bangladesh Medical Research Council to go for formal trial of the spray.
"Using the spray nasally or orally can significantly reduce virus load among patients with mild Covid-19 symptoms," BRICM acting director general Dr Mala Khan told the FE on Wednesday.
She said the clinical trial of the spray done on around 200 patients at Dhaka Medical College Hospital from May 01 to October 31 last year was found effective.
People aged between 20 and 50 participated in the trial while the male-female ratio was 70:30, Dr Khan cited.
Referring to coronavirus that primarily spreads through sneezing and coughing by infected individuals, she said the initial trial found that the spray can effectively kill the virus on nasal passage, mouth and windpipe.
"Using the spray can prevent the spread of the virus through sneezing and coughing," she added.
However, researchers are yet to apply the spray on patients with severe respiratory complexity as further research is needed to assess its effectiveness among such patients, Dr Khan added.
When asked about pricing, she said the production cost of the spray is around Tk 100 per 25ml which can be used for about three weeks.
The death tally from Covid-19 declined further to 14 while the infection rate inched up again in Bangladesh during the past 24 hours until 8:00 am on Wednesday.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) reported the fatalities at 16 on Tuesday.
With the latest count, the death toll from Covid-19 reached 7,833 since the virus was first detected in the country in March 2020.
On the other hand, 890 more people were diagnosed with Covid-19 afresh here in the 24-hour reporting time.
A total of 15,727 samples, including antigen-based rapid ones, were tested from 16,338 collected across the country during the same period.
However, the Covid-19 test positivity rate increased to 5.66 per cent on Wednesday compared to Tuesday's 5.0-per cent rate, according to the DGHS.
A total of 881 people recovered from the deadly coronavirus respiratory disease in the country during the same period.
The rate of recovery, which has maintained an uptrend in recent days, increased slightly to 89.45 per cent on Wednesday.
On the other hand, the rate of fatalities remained static at 1.49 per cent in Bangladesh the same day.
According to the official data, the total Covid-19 cases have so far reached 5,24,910 in Bangladesh. Of them, 4,69,522 recovered from the deadly disease.
On the other hand, more than 3.40-million samples have so far been tested since the virus was detected here since March 08 last year, the DGHS figures showed.