In what could bring major relief to China, Thailand on Sunday claimed that it has been able to successfully treat a 71-year-old Chinese woman, who was in a critical condition after she contracted the novel coronavirus, the country's health ministry informed in a briefing.
The Chinese patient was given a mix of two antiviral drugs. The Thai Ministry of Public Health that held a press briefing on Sunday said that the patient was given antiviral drugs originally used for HIV and influenza treatment.
Within 48 hours after administrating the drugs, the condition of the patient improved significantly, Kriangsak Attipornwanich, a doctor at the state-owned Rajavithi Hospital who is treating the patient, told reporters at the briefing.
Tests results return negative
Her test results for the 2019-nCoV coronavirus also came negative, the doctor said. The Thai doctors, however, accepted that China has already been testing HIV drugs as a cure for the novel coronavirus strain. The success of the combination of the two antiviral drugs will also be shared with medical journals, the Thai officials told the press.
Currently, in Thailand, there are at least 19 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, while there are over 300 people on the watchlist and are still being screened. The same treatment will now be tested on other patients as well.
Recommending drugs used for treating other diseases
To battle the coronavirus emergency, the Chinese government and medical experts have had recommended AbbVie's fixed-dose HIV drug Kaletra—also known as Aluvia. China's National Health Commission recommended the HIV drug as a treatment for pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus, as stated in its updated clinical guidance.
There are fears that the number of people infected with coronavirus in China could be much higher than what is being reported by China. The outbreak has spread to all regions of mainland China, including Tibet.
As per the official figures, the coronavirus has claimed at least 305 lives and infected more than 14,300 globally and continues to spread beyond China. One person outside mainland China, a Chinese national who had arrived in the Philippines on January 21, has died.