Japan weighs using anti-flu drug Avigan to treat Covid-19 patients


  • Japan
  • Saturday, 22 Feb 2020

A taxi driver wearing a mask waiting for a fare with a Tokyo 2020 logo on the door of his car in Tokyo. Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said on Saturday (Feb 22) that the country is mulling using Avigan, an anti-influenza medication to treat patients of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. - AP

TOKYO: Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said on Saturday (Feb 22) that the country is mulling using Avigan, an anti-influenza medication to treat patients of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

"We hear from overseas that some (drugs) among those that have been used against influenza may be useful," Kato told reporters in Tokyo.

The health ministry will check the effectiveness of anti-flu drugs in fighting the disease and, if necessary, make it possible for many medical institutions to use them in treating patients, he added.

According to Kato, the government will announce its basic policy on how to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, possibly next Tuesday.

Avigan is an anti-influenza drug developed by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co., but it is hoped that it can also help treat other diseases, including Ebola, as well as a tick-borne illness.

As of Saturday afternoon, about 750 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Japan.

However, most of them are passengers and crew members of the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in the port city of Yokohama near Tokyo. - Xinhua/Asian News Network
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Japan , Avigan , Covid-19

   

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