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As New Treatments Coronavirus Trialed Who Warns Against Self-medication

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Japan plans to use HIV drugs in an attempt to treat people with the deadly new coronavirus, according to officials.

Yoshihide Suga, chief cabinet secretary, told a briefing on Tuesday that the government is “currently conducting preparations so that clinical trials using HIV medication on the novel coronavirus can start as soon as possible,” Reuters reported. Antiretroviral drugs used against HIV work by stopping the virus from replicating in the body.

Suga said he could not comment on the length of time he thought it would take for the drug to be approved.

Japan has the second most confirmed cases of the coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, after mainland China, at 66—with a further 454 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The vessel is currently docked and quarantined off the coast of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, after a passenger was diagnosed with COVID-19. It is also among the five countries and territories to have had a fatality outside of mainland China, alongside Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong and France. So far, 1,873 people have died of COVID-19 in 73,335 confirmed cases, mostly in the central Chinese province of Hubei where the virus is thought to have emerged from a wholesale seafood market in late 2019. As shown by the infographic by Statista below, it has spread to over 25 countries and territories, including the U.S.

People wait for the train in Tokyo’s Ginza area on February 17, 2020. – Japan said on February 17 it would cancel a public gathering to celebrate the birthday of new Emperor Naruhito on February 23, as fears grow over the spread of the new COVID-19 coronavirus in the country. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo by /AFP via )
CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images

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