TOKYO (REUTERS) – Japan is aiming to start trials soon using an HIV treatment for the coronavirus, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday (Feb 18).
“We’re currently preparing to start clinical trials using HIV medication on the novel coronavirus,” Suga, the government’s top spokesman, said at a daily press briefing.
He added that he could not comment on how long it would take for the new drug to be approved.
Japan now has seen over 500 coronavirus cases, with more than 450 of them from a cruise ship docked in Yokohama.
Separately, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Tuesday he would ensure that fiscal policy steps would be taken as needed to respond to the spreading coronavirus outbreak while closely monitoring its impact on the economy.
Aso told reporters after a Cabinet meeting that economic fundamentals that supported domestic demand were holding steady although slowing global growth was affecting the manufacturing sector.
Aso made the remarks when asked about government data out on Monday that showed Japanese economy had suffered its deepest contraction since 2014 in the October-December quarter.