Egypt contracts with Gilead to get remdesivir drug for COVID-19 patients

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Sat, 02 May 2020 - 07:36 GMT

Gilead Sciences logo on company website displayed on computer screen with ripple effect- CC via Flickr/Ivan Radic

Gilead Sciences logo on company website displayed on computer screen with ripple effect- CC via Flickr/Ivan Radic

CAIRO - 2 May 2020: Egypt contracted with the U.S. Gilead Sciences to get antiviral medicine Remdesivir for the new coronavirus COVID-19 patients, said Egyptian Ministry of Health Hala Zayed.

In a phone call with Al-Hikaya talk show on MBC channel on Friday, the minister added that the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that the first cargo of the medicine will be sent to Egypt.

The ministry has previously announced that it started injecting plasma of patients who have recovered from the deadly COVID-19 into severely ill patients with the novel virus. Plasma from recovered cases has the antibodies required to battle the virus inside other patients and curb its replication.

Moreover, Egypt contacted the Japanese manufacturer of the antiviral drug Avigan to treat patients. 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.

Egypt recorded 298 new coronavirus cases and 9 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total infected patients of COVID-19 to 6,193 and the total deaths to 415 according to the Health Minister's daily briefing on Saturday.

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