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Trial of Merck's Covid drug in Vietnam records zero deaths: health ministry

By Le Nga   November 6, 2021 | 02:30 am PT
Trial of Merck's Covid drug in Vietnam records zero deaths: health ministry
A box of molnupiravir, a Covid-19 drug developed by U.S. pharmaceutical firm Merck that is being tested in Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress
A trial for Covid-19 drug molnupiravir developed by U.S. pharmaceutical firm Merck in Vietnam saw no fatalities, the Ministry of Health announced Saturday.

The trial was conducted in 22 cities and provinces and showed the drug is safe and effective in reducing viral load, infectivity and treatment time.

Following five days of usage, the percentage of coronavirus patients with low viral loads increased from 72.1 to 99.1 percent. After 14 days, the percentage was nearly 100 percent. Only around 0.02-0.06 percent of patients grew severe, and there were no deaths, according to the health ministry.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the trial for molnupiravir in Vietnam turned out well and was consistent with findings by Merck and other producers of the drug.

"The drug is safe and has few side effects. If there are, they would go away after one or two days of using the drug," Long said, adding Vietnam has imported a large amount of it. The ministry has also approved 39 businesses to produce the drug, and authorities are working with Merck so it could be approved as soon as possible.

Trials for molnupiravir in Vietnam was launched in August, with the drug used on mild Covid-19 cases. The U.K. was the first country to approve it Thursday.

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