Monday, 15 June, 2020

Iran to use antiviral drug for speeding recovery in COVID-19 patients

A home-made Iranian antiviral drug has proved successful in speeding recovery of COVID-19 patients as scientists seek to gain the government approval for using the treatment amid the new coronavirus pandemic that has affected tens of thousands in the country.

A group of Iranian doctors and researchers held a meeting on Saturday to announce the successful outcomes of a clinical trial involving the use of ReciGen, an interferon alfa-2b drug made in Iran, in treating patients suffering from the new coronavirus.

The panel, led by Ali Akbar Velayati, a well-known professor of medical sciences and a former foreign minister of Iran, said that ReciGen had increased the rate of recovery in COVID-19 patients by nearly five times.

“ReciGen is one of the drugs used to treat the corona (virus) disease which has proved very effective on patients,” said Velayati who himself was quarantined for a fortnight in March after contracting COVID-19.

He said that his team of scientists plans to gain the required permissions from Iran’s health ministry to use the drug on COVID-19 patients in Masih Daneshvari Hospital, a main hub of research and treatment on respiratory diseases in Tehran.

“We are planning to unveil a drug for fighting corona (virus) that could have a major role in reducing the death rate among the patients,” said Velayati.

Iran has been the worst-hit country in the Middle East and North Africa region by the COVID-19. Figures published by the health ministry on Saturday said that a total of 8,730 people had died of the disease since it was first spotted in the country in late February.

Figures also showed that the total number of people infected by the disease had increased by 2,410 patients to reach 184,955 of which nearly 146,748 had been released from hospitals after recovering from the illness.

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