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WHO closely monitors Remdesivir as possible COVID-19 treatment drug

The drug forms part of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) solidarity trial, an international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for the virus.

Remdesivir, which previously failed in trials against Ebola, is being touted as helping to improve outcomes against the COVID-19 illness. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - American biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences on Monday said its antiviral drug offered a modest benefit to patients with moderate COVID-19 symptoms.

The drug forms part of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) solidarity trial, an international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for the virus.

Over 375,000 people have died globally from the coronavirus, and more than 6.2 million have been infected.

In the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, the therapeutics to effectively treat the disease are being closely monitored around the world.

Gilead Sciences said the Ebola drug, Remdesivir, was the first to show improvement in COVID-19 patients in formal clinical trials.

Remdesivir was being closely watched after the US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorisation last month.

Meanwhile, Japan reported 37 new coronavirus cases and two COVID-19 deaths on Monday.

Tokyo moved into its recovery plan this week, which eased restrictions on shopping malls and sports facilities.

China reported five new imported coronavirus cases, but no additional deaths.

Nearly 26,000 nursing home residents died from COVID-19 in the US. Officials said this occurred mostly in poorly rated facilities with weaker infection control.

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