Egypt starts treating 50 COVID-19 patients with Japanese antiviral drug Avigan

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Fri, 17 Apr 2020 - 12:02 GMT

Japanese antiviral drug Avigan- Photo courtesy of the Japan - The Government of Japan Facebook page in 2015.

Japanese antiviral drug Avigan- Photo courtesy of the Japan - The Government of Japan Facebook page in 2015.

CAIRO- 17 April 2020: Egypt started treating 50 patients of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) with the Japanese antiviral drug Avigan, announced Mohamed Tag El-Deen, the Advisor for Health Affairs to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Friday.

“Today, we started testing it on 50 patients in a number of medical centers, to see whether it is effective or not," he was quoted as saying by Masrawy newspaper. Tag El-Deen’s comments came during an online symposium organized by the Arab Administrative Development Organization (ARADO).

He added that there is no drug for the COVID-19, but Avigan drug helps patients recover fast.

Last week, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar said the ministry has managed to communicate with the Japanese manufacturer of the antiviral drug Avigan to treat patients with coronavirus (COVID-19).

The drug, developed by a group firm of Fujifilm Holdings Corp., has been stored in Japan as a treatment for influenza. Reports in China showed that the drug has been effective in treating COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus.

Japan plans to provide Avigan for free to 20 countries hoping to use it to treat COVID-19 patients and will provide the United Nations Office for Project Services with a $1 million grant to buy and distribute the drug, according to Japan’s national daily The Mainichi.

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