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Thailand marks progress in treatment of coronavirus

Doctors at Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand made progress Sunday in the treatment of people infected with the novel coronavirus.

They administered a combination of HIV and flu medications to those suffering from the coronavirus, which led to improvements in their health that were noticeable 48 hours after the treatment.

It was also reported that a 70-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan was among those who recovered in 10 days.

Anti-HIV drugs such as lopinavir and ritonavir as well as the flu drug oseltamivir were used as a mixture for the treatment.

Kriangska Atipornwanich, a lung specialist at Rajavithi Hospital, said this is not a definitive method for treating the virus, but it helps improve the patient’s condition.

Atipornwanich pointed out that further work is needed to determine whether the method can be used as a standard form of treatment.

“Test results changed from positive (for the virus) to negative 48 hours after applying this mixture,” he said.

After an evaluation meeting to be held Monday with Thailand’s Health Ministry, the mixture could be applied to other patients as well.

Thailand has recorded 19 cases of coronavirus so far. Eight of them were discharged after treatment while 11 are continuing their treatment.

Chinese health officials are also known to have used HIV and flu medications to treat the coronavirus.

The novel coronavirus, so named because under the microscope it resembles a crown, has killed at least 304 people in China, with more than 14,000 infected.

Since its outbreak, China has put the city of Wuhan — where the virus was first detected — under lockdown in a bid to contain the virus and is building a 1,000-bed hospital to treat those affected.

Cases have also been reported in Japan, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, the U.S., France, Germany, North Korea, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Vietnam, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the U.K., Russia, Nepal, Cambodia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Finland and India.

The virus is said to have been transmitted to humans from animals, particularly bats.

The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak an international emergency.


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