South Korea approves import of antiviral drug remdesivir for COVID-19 treatment

SEOUL: South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety approved a request by the country’s health authorities to import Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday (Jun 3).

The decision came after a government panel concluded last week that remdesivir, a drug initially designed to combat Ebola, showed positive results when used to treat COVID-19 patients.

The ministry said it will cooperate with the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), other ministries and Gilead Sciences to import the drug.

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Last Thursday, South Korea re-imposed a series of COVID-19 social distancing measures it had eased early this month, as a series of clusters threatened to challenge its success in containing the epidemic.

Museums, parks and art galleries were closed from last Friday for two weeks, while companies were urged to re-introduce flexible working, among other measures.

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