Sri Lanka is to use anti-influenza drug ‘AVIGAN’ on COVID-19 patients on an experimental basis from next week, a senior Public official said today.
Chairman of the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) Dr. Prasanna Gunasena told Daily Mirror that a stock of 5,000 ‘AVIGAN’ tablets would be handed over to the SPC as a gift from Japan and China tomorrow (31) to be given to COVID-19 patients on a trial basis.
“No one must take ‘VIGAN’ as an absolute drug for the recovery of the COVID-19 viral infection. It is up to the physician to decide whether to prescribe the drug for the infected patient. Besides, this drug is used worldwide for Ebola viral infection. However, the tablet can be prescribed as a substitute drug for COVID-19,” Dr. Gunasena said.
Dr. Gunasena added that the consignment of 5,000 drugs is donated by Japan and China as a gift to Sri Lanka from both countries with the approval of Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi.
If the drug proves as an absolute remedy to cure the viral infection, the SPC would purchase a bigger consignment to be prescribed for patients of the viral infection, he added.(Sandun A. Jayasekera)