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Broad welcome for availability of anti-viral drug for Covid treatment

Remdesivir, a treatment originally developed to fight Ebola, appears to shorten recovery time for people with Covid-19.

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The announcement that the drug remdesivir will be made available to treat those with coronavirus has been welcomed (Michael Cooper/PA)

The announcement that the drug remdesivir will be made available to treat those with coronavirus has been welcomed (Michael Cooper/PA)

The announcement that the drug remdesivir will be made available to treat those with coronavirus has been welcomed (Michael Cooper/PA)

There has been a broad welcome after an anti-viral drug was made available for the treatment for coronavirus.

Remdesivir, a treatment originally developed to fight Ebola, appears to shorten recovery time for people with Covid-19.

Northern Ireland’s health minister Robin Swann described it as a “positive step in the fightback against Covid-19”.

“It is only a few short months ago that we were first faced with this previously unknown virus,” he said.

“Amazing progress has been made in producing and delivering this anti-viral in a short timescale.

“The drug will be available to patients who meet certain clinical criteria to support their recovery in hospital. Trusts in Northern Ireland will be able to apply for access to the treatment for eligible patients.”

Sinn Fein health spokesman Colm Gildernew also welcomed the announcement.

“International studies have shown that this drug can be effective in combating Covid-19 symptoms and reducing the recovery time needed,” he said.

“We must continue to proactively research Covid-19 and also investigate what are the most effective drugs to combat the virus.

“However, I want to reiterate the need for the public to continue to follow the public health advice of social distancing and good hygiene.

“We are not yet out of the woods and yesterday is testament to that with eight people sadly losing their battle to Covid-19.”

PA