Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia hoping for free flu meds

Cambodia hoping for free flu meds

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The influenza drug Avigan is produced by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co in Japan. GDI

Cambodia hoping for free flu meds

The Japanese government plans to donate the influenza drug Avigan, which is being used to treat Covid-19 patients in China, to 20 countries shortly, and an official at the Cambodian Embassy in Japan expects the Kingdom to be on the list.

Radio France Internationale (RFI) said Avigan, also known as favipiravir, was tested by Chinese authorities in March and produced positive results. The drug has since been used by the Beijing government to treat Covid-19 patients.

The General Department of Immigration Facebook page said the governor of Japan’s Toyama prefecture, Takakazu Ishii has urged Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co, the drug’s manufacturer, to produce more of the medicine to help treat Covid-19 abroad.

An official of the Cambodian Embassy in Japan, who asked not to be named, told The Post on Tuesday that it had not yet received any clear information about whether Cambodia was among the 20 countries which will receive Avigan.

“Although we have not yet received any information about it being given to Cambodia, the embassy is confident that we are on the list of partners in the plan to receive drugs for Covid-19 treatment,” the official said.

The Japanese Embassy in Cambodia couldn’t be reached for comment on Tuesday.

While Avigan has shown promise in relieving symptoms of early-stage sufferers of the Covid-19 disease, the drug became ineffective once the virus entered an advanced stage, reported Asia Times.

Dr Hen Phearak who has over 20 years’ experience in respiratory illnesses, told The Post on Tuesday that Avigan can’t cure Covid-19, but it can effectively treat influenza.

“Covid-19 can cause many symptoms such as chills and fever, runny nose, cough, diarrhea and breathing difficulties. Avigan reduces some symptoms, which keep patients from entering the critical condition,” he said.

Phearak said as the immune system weakens, symptoms start to appear and Avigan is only used to prevent the symptoms from worsening.

“So if Japan helps, it is a merit for that country. The drug is expensive too, and it is a very good quality medicine to treat some types of flu,” he said, adding that he expects Cambodia to receive the drug from Japan to combat the pandemic.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • No ‘Crown Prince’ exists to buy France football club: ministry

    The Ministry of the Royal Palace has denied media reports that a Cambodian “Crown Prince” had purchased the AS Saint Etienne football club of France’s top-flight LIGUE 1 at the cost of €100 million ($117 million). In a press statement on September 19, the ministry stressed that Cambodia