Covid-19 patients across the UK are being given a new treatment for the virus, early results suggest it cuts the chances of serious illness by almost 80 per cent.

The new treatment, which was first administered on Covid-19 patients at Hull Royal Infirmary on Tuesday, involves inhaling a protein called interferon beta.

The body naturally produces interferon beta to fight off infection. Early reports suggest the new treatment could cut the chances of a patient requiring a ventilator by almost 80 per cent.

It was first developed by scientists at Southampton University Hospital and will be produced by Synairgen, the city's biotech company.