Japan Starts Using Antiflu Drug Avigan for Coronavirus

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Tokyo, Feb. 23 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese medical institution started on Saturday using Avigan, an anti-influenza medication, to treat people infected with the novel coronavirus, health minister Katsunobu Kato said the same day.

There is no established treatment for the COVID-19 virus. Avigan will be used widely to treat coronavirus patients if its efficacy is confirmed.

Avigan is effective in curbing the growth of the virus and two medical institutions have been preparing to use it, according to Kato.

The drug was used for treatment as part of an observation study after the consent of the patients was obtained and other related procedures were taken at the medical institution.

Avigan is not distributed in the marketplace. The government possesses a stockpile of the drug for about two million people to prepare for the outbreak of a new type of influenza and supplies it to medical institutions when treatment is provided.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press