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Seoul approves use of remdesivir as virus treatment

All News 12:19 June 03, 2020

SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's food and drug administration on Wednesday made an emergency decision to allow the use of remdesivir as a treatment for the new coronavirus, paving the way for inbound shipments of the new drug for the first time.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it has decided to allow special imports of the drug using its special measures procedure that allows imports of previously unauthorized substances under special circumstances.

South Korea has yet to complete its clinical tests on the new drug, but the ministry earlier said the drug has been proven in many other countries to help reduce the time needed to cure coronavirus patients.

The move to allow special imports of remdesivir came on a request from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) to use the drug as a treatment for new coronavirus patients.

Ministry officials said the country will soon hold discussions with the U.S. producer of the drug, Gilead Sciences, to arrange the first shipment of its imports.

South Korea has so far reported 11,590 COVID-19 patients, 10,467 of who have been released from hospitals or quarantine after full recoveries.

A total of 850 people remained hospitalized or in quarantine as of Wednesday, while 273 people have died from the viral disease.

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