DURBAN – South Africa and seven other Latin American countries have signed deals with Russia for the anti-viral drug Russian authorities have approved to treat Covid-19.
According to media reports the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said that at least 150,000 packs of the drug, known as Avifavir, would be sent to Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay and Uruguay. The drug will also be supplied to South Africa, RDIF said in a statement.
Avifavir is an anti-influenza medication. It has been repurposed to fight Covid-19. Preliminary trials are said to have shown that Avifavir could shorten recovery times for patients with the Coronavirus.
In a statement issued by the RDIF, the sovereign wealth fund stressed in the statement that South Africa has recently seen a rapid increase in the number of patients with Coronavirus infection and in terms of infections, South Africa currently ranks 5th globally.
“South Africa is the second BRICS state after Brazil to which RDIF and ChemRar have agreed to supply Avifavir. Thanks to the agreement with 3Sixty Biopharmaceuticals, doctors in South Africa will obtain an effective tool to treat patients at an early stage, preventing the progression of the disease and risk to the lives of patients,” Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said as quoted by the press release.
The drug works by blocking the ability of a virus to replicate inside a cell. Some doctors began trying Favipiravir to treat coronavirus patients early on, reasoning that its anti-viral properties would be applicable.Initial results suggested the drug could help shorten recovery time for patients.
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