There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and human trials of several existing antiviral drugs have yet to show efficacy. But Russia on Thursday rolled out a drug approved to treat patients suffering from the novel coronavirus, its state financial backer said, as the number of infections there surpassed half a million. The first deliveries of the new antiviral drug, registered under the name “Avifavir”, were made to some hospitals and clinics across the country, Russia`s RDIF sovereign wealth fund said in a press release. The health ministry gave its approval for the drug`s use under a special accelerated process while clinical trials, held over a shorter period and with fewer people than many other countries, were still underway. Negotiations were underway to supply the drug to almost all of Russia’s regions. With 502,436 cases, Russia has the third-highest number of infections in the world after Brazil and the United States but has a relatively low official death toll of 6,532.
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