Bangkok—Two novel coronavirus patients from Wuhan who were treated in Thailand have tested negative for the virus after being given a combination of antiviral medicine, their doctors said at a media conference on Sunday (Feb 2).
According to Dr. Kriangsak Atipornwanich of Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok, one patient, a 71-year-old female patient from China, had been treated with a combination of drugs used in treating HIV and the flu.
He said, “I had treated a patient with severe condition, and the result has been very satisfactory. The patient’s condition has improved very quickly within 48 hours. And the test result has also changed from being positive into negative within 48 hours as well.”
Previous to this, she had only been given anti-HIV treatment.
The doctor added, “From being exhausted before, she could sit up in bed 12 hours later.”
Health authorities present at the press conference said that the most recent laboratory tests had shown there were no more traces of the virus in the woman’s respiratory system.
The Thai doctors treating the patients combined oseltamivir, an anti-flu drug, with lopinavir and ritonavir, which are anti-virals given to HIV patients.
Dr Kriangsak said that the ministry is still waiting for results from research to prove their findings, AFP reports.
There are 19 positive cases for the Wuhan coronavirus in Thailand, second only to Japan, with 20 cases, for the highest number of patients outside of China. Eighteen cases in Thailand are of people who had come from Wuhan. The other case is of a Thai taxi driver who had not been to Wuhan, the country’s first recorded human-to-human transmission.
Of those patients, 11 are still under confinement in hospital while eight have recovered and gone home.
Thailand’s Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, was seen in a video released on Sunday visiting one of the patients who had recovered from the virus. She can be seen in the video thanking him and the medical staff who had treated her.
Mr Anutin also announced that the evacuation of Thai citizens in Wuhan is scheduled for Tuesday (Feb 4). The repatriated Thai citizens will be placed under quarantine for two weeks.
In Beijing, CNN reports that patients positive for the Wuhan coronavirus are also being given anti-HIV and AIDS drugs as part of their treatment, although the efficiency of these drugs is still unclear.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the US National Institutes of Health, Anthony Fauci, has said that at present, there are no proven effective drugs to treat the Wuhan coronavirus.
News of the seemingly successful treatment of the Wuhan coronavirus patient in Thailand came on the same day as the first fatality from the Wuhan coronavirus outside China was reported in the Philippines.
According to the World Health Organization, the 44-year-old man, who was confirmed as the second person with the virus in the Philippines, was visiting from Wuhan. He died on Saturday (Feb 1).
The other person who has tested positive for the virus is a 38-year-old woman who had been the travelling companion of the man who died. She was the first positive case identified in the country last Thursday. She was admitted to hospital on Jan 25 and is in stable condition.
The man and the woman had been in the Philippines since Jan 21. The Philippines’ Department of Health announced the death on Sunday morning. The man developed severe pneumonia after he was diagnosed with the virus. -/TISG
Send in your scoop to email@example.com