Cyprus is among 20 countries worldwide that will receive the drug Avigan to treat hospitalised Covid-19 patients, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.
It said that the Pharmaceuticals Council, after consultations with the Cyprus embassy in Japan and the Japanese authorities, had approved the pharmaceutical Avigan 200 mg that will be given to 20 patients with Covid-19 and who will be part of the clinical trial being carried out by the competent Japanese authorities.
The inclusion of Cyprus in the 20 countries participating in the trials was announced by the Foreign Minister of Japan.
Avigan anti-flu drug, manufactured by a subsidiary of Fujifilm in Japan, is under clinical trial to establish whether it can be administered to treat the virus.
On Sunday, Reuters reported that Japan was considering increasing the stockpile of the drug during this fiscal year so it can be used to treat 2 million people.
Local media reported on Sunday that Japan was hoping to triple the production of the drug from current levels, which is enough to treat 700,000 people if used by coronavirus patients.
Avigan, also known as Favipiravir, is manufactured by a subsidiary of Fujifilm, which has a healthcare arm although it is better known for its cameras.
The drug was approved for use in Japan in 2014. Avigan is being tested in China as a treatment for Covid-19.