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Wuhan coronavirus: South Korea reviewing plans to import Japanese antiviral drug

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | February 26, 2020
Korea is developing a vaccine for the coronavirus while reviewing plans to import a Japanese antiviral drug to treat the growing number of people infected, officials said yesterday.
South Korea hospital
Health in Korea   South Korea hospital
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said in a press briefing yesterday that it is considering a regulatory exemption for imports of Avigan, a drug made by Toyama Chemical and approved for treatment of influenza in 2014.

Topics: Wuhan coronavirus South Korea import Japan drug

According to Japanese media outlets Tuesday, the drug showed effects in treating mild coronavirus cases in Japan.

They said the Japanese government is preparing to supply the drug across its own country within the next few days.

The coronavirus that spread from China doesn’t have a certified treatment nor vaccine as of yet.

As Avigan, or favipiravir, is not being imported to Korea at the moment, the Korean government has been using some forms of malaria and H.I.V. treatments to alleviate symptoms for some patients in Korea.

H.I.V. treatment Kaletra and malaria treatment hydroxychloroquine have alleviated pneumonia symptoms in more than 20 patients in Korea so far, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a number of hospitals.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety also said Korea has started developing a vaccine for the virus with the help of local companies and researchers.