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Hong Kong commences clinical tests of potential coronavirus cure

Currently, 149 coronavirus infection cases have been confirmed in Hong Kong

HONG KONG, March 16. /TASS/. Hong Kong medics commence clinical trial of Remdesevir experimental drug, which is considered potentially effective in fighting the coronavirus infection, Hong Kong Hospital Authority (HA) spokeswomen said Monday.

"HA Clinical Ethics Committee has approved the clinical trial of Remdesivir in public hospitals in Hong Kong. Preparation for the trial has been completed and Princess Margaret Hospital, Prince of Wales Hospital and Queen Mary Hospital will start recruiting patients for the trial accordingly," the spokeswoman said.

The medicine has initially been developed by Gilead Sciences, a US pharmaceutic company, to fight Ebola virus and other diseases. Medics believe it could also be effective in curing the novel coronavirus infection.

Clinical tests of this drug on COVID-19 patients already underway in mainland China. The results are expected by late April. Meanwhile, Taiwan scientists have recently synthesized Remdesevir on their own, in case it proves its effectiveness against the coronavirus.

Hong Kong coronavirus treatment

According to the Hong Kong Hospital Authority spokeswoman, "at present, supportive treatments including oxygen, antibacterial and IV fluid are mainly provided for patients confirmed with COVID-19 infection.

In case of health deterioration, the patients are being admitted to intensive care unit.

"Assisted ventilation including non-invasive and invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) may be instituted for selected cases," she said.

"HA expert panel will provide treatment for each confirmed patient according to his or her clinical condition. Antiviral drugs including Protease inhibitors, Interferon and Ribavirin might be prescribed for patients. Effectiveness and side effect of the drugs will be closely monitored," the spokeswoman added.

Currently, 149 coronavirus infection cases have been confirmed in Hong Kong, with 61 patients staying in hospitals and 84 patients released. Four cases were lethal.