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February 3, 2020updated 07 Sep 2020 5:43pm

Coronavirus: Thailand doctors use HIV and flu drugs for treatment

Doctors at Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand have used a combination of HIV and flu drugs for the treatment of patients infected with the new coronavirus.


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Doctors at Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand have used a combination of HIV and flu drugs for the treatment of patients infected with the new coronavirus.

According to doctors, the treatment approach led to improvements in multiple patients, including a 70-year old Chinese woman from Wuhan.

The treatment involves HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir, provided by AbbVie as Kaletra, along with flu medication oseltamivir, sold by Roche Holding and Chugai Pharmaceutical as Tamiflu.

Rajavithi Hospital lung specialist Dr Kriangska Atipornwanich was quoted by Reuters as saying: “This is not the cure but the patient’s condition has vastly improved.

“From testing positive for ten days under our care, after applying this combination of medicine the test result became negative within 48 hours. The outlook is good but we still have to do more study to determine that this can be a standard treatment.”

Chinese health officials have already been using HIV drugs to treat coronavirus patients. The addition of the flu drug to the combination seemed to have yielded better outcomes.

Two patients administered with the combination continue to receive the treatment, while one discontinued due to development of rash.

In a separate development, the National Health Commission of China has announced that Kaletra seems to be effective in restricting the activity of the coronavirus.

The Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University first used lopinavir / ritonavir.

Commenting on the use of these HIV drugs, Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital president Zhang Dingyu said: “It seems that Kaletra is effective on patients with early symptoms. It can help prevent the disease from getting severe and life-threatening but we still need stronger evidence.”

Researchers at Zhongnan Hospital also optimised the extraction of the virus’s nucleic acid, reducing diagnosis time by half.

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COVID-19 continues to dominate headlines the world over. It has already affected our lives forever. The way we work, shop, eat, seek medical advice, and socialize will all be different in the future. Quite how different remains to be seen, but all industries must plan for multiple eventualities.  Faced with an explosion of conflicting information on how to plan and implement successful recovery strategies, decision-makers are in dire need of a single, reliable source of intelligence.   GlobalData’s COVID-19 Executive Briefing gives you access to unparalleled data and insights to successfully navigate the uncertain road to recovery across the world’s largest industries. Understand every aspect of this disruptive theme by delving into: 
  •  COVID-19 infection update, with statistics on the spread, testing by country, as well as the latest data on vaccines and therapeutic developments 
  • Economic impact overview, covering stock market indices, GDP, unemployment rates, policy responses & GlobalData’s economic recovery scorecards 
  • Sector developments, with access to sector insight summaries, cross-sector indices and the leaders and laggards in each industry vertical 
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