/ KIM KYUNG-HOON
Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said that the Geladis Sciences anti-retroviral drug Remediver may be approved by Tokyo to treat Covid-19 patients when the review panel meets on Thursday.
Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of this drug to treat Covid-19, a highly contagious lung disease caused by the emerging corona virus.
Gilead Sciences Inc. asked to quickly approve its use in Japan on Monday.
Kato said on a TV news program today, that if the review panel approves this drug, he intends to approve it immediately.
“Once imported, we would like it to be used by those suffering from serious conditions as soon as possible.”
On Monday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe extended the nationwide state of emergency until May 31, saying the incidence of the new Coronavirus has not decreased enough to justify ending measures to slow the spread of the disease.
Although Japan has not witnessed a major outbreak, compared to some hotspots around the world, there are over 16,000 recorded infections and 579 deaths, according to the Japan Radio and Television Corporation.