EghtesadOnline: Iran is supplying its hospitals with two domestically-manufactured drugs that have shown promise in treating severe cases of Covid-19, the country’s Food and Drug Administration announced.
Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz, the head of Iran’s FDA, said on Monday that both remdesivir and favipiravir have recently received regulatory approval and are being distributed in hospitals across the nation, IRNA reported.
The antiviral medicines are being explored as potential treatments for Covid-19 and early clinical trials around the world have produced promising results.
Remdesivir is prescribed for severe coronavirus symptoms in several countries, including Australia and the United States, and it has shown to trim hospital recovery times.
Shanehsaz said the drugs’ manufacture began several months ago and it is being distributed in hospitals since last week.
The treatments will not be available in pharmacies in order to prevent it from being sold on the black market at exorbitant rates.
Data compiled by the Health Ministry show 2,414 newly confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus took the nation’s tally to 276,202.
Overnight fatalities caused by the viral infection stood at 217 on Monday, up by eight a day earlier, taking the death toll to 14,405, the spokeswoman for the ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, said.
More than 240,000 have recovered from the infectious disease and 3,580 remain in critical condition.
Iran has carried out 2.17 million diagnostic tests to track down transmissions.
Lari noted that no change was reported in provinces hit hard by the second wave of the infection, with hospitalizations and deaths remaining the same.
Deaths in Hospitals Drop
Health Minister Saeed Namaki said on Monday that the number of deaths among patients admitted to hospitals have dropped in recent days. The second wave of the infection is taking the lives of around 200 per day.
“If it were not for the sacrifices of healthcare practitioners, the daily death rate would have reached dangerously high three-digit figures,” he added.
The top health official pointed out that the domestic development of remdesivir began two months ago.
“Remdesivir was distributed yesterday [Sunday] and locally-made favipiravir has already been supplied to hospitals,” he said.
Namaki also discussed the concurrence of the influenza season and the coronavirus outbreak, and spoke of his plan to identify individuals more susceptible to the illness.
“Patients with preexisting conditions are more at risk of dying from the respiratory disease. More than 87% of coronavirus deaths were among those with underlying health problems and the obese,” he said.
Qasem Janbabaei, one of Namaki’s deputies, said on Monday over 16% of Iran’s hospital beds are currently occupied by Covid-19 patients.
According to Janbabaei, roughly 5,000 nurses have contracted the deadly virus since the pandemic began and the ministry is recruiting more healthcare providers to tackle an influx of patients.
Some 14.67 million global cases of the coronavirus were reported by Monday noon, along with 610,000 deaths.