Thailand to produce antiviral medicine for COVID-19 treatment

12:27 | 29/04/2020
The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) of Thailand is working to make its own Favipiravir - the antiviral medicine which has been touted as a treatment for COVID-19.
thailand to produce antiviral medicine for covid 19 treatment
Favipiravir for COVID-19 treatment (Photo: Bangkok Post)

Local media quoted Chairman of the GPO's board of directors Sophon Mekthon as saying that the organization’s pharmaceutical team is working hard to study the formula for Favipiravir to make it more efficient, and GPO plans to produce the product by next year.

Favipiravir is an antiviral medication used to treat influenza in Japan. It is known for stopping viruses from duplicating and has been used to treat COVID-19.

Thailand has been importing Favipiravir, mostly from Japan, to treat COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe symptoms since January

According to the official, the Thai Ministry of Public Health has 200,000 Favipiravir tablets in stock, which is 80 percent below its target of one million.

But the ministry believes the current stockpile is sufficient to treat 3,000 COVID-19 cases.

Thailand reported seven new COVID-19 cases and two deaths on April 28, bringing the total in the country to 2,938, with 54 deaths.

The Thai Ministry of Labour announced on the same day that the country will halt the entry of foreign labourers indefinitely as part of efforts to contain the spread of the disease.

The decision follows a recent report of 42 infections among illegal migrant workers in Songkhla province.

VNA

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