TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Friday (July 3) the country possesses 333 vials of remdesivir and will save them for emergency coronavirus treatments.
During a regular press conference to give Taiwan's pandemic update, CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) pointed out the island nation's remdesivir stockpile is enough to treat 55 patients in serious or critical condition. He noted procurement of the antiviral drug is not urgent at the moment since Taiwan does not have patients in need of such treatment, reported CNA.
In response to global concerns the U.S. has hoarded most of the world's remdesivir supplies, Chuang said the government will continue to negotiate with the Western superpower for a potential sale. Meanwhile, hospitals in Taiwan have other medications that can be relied on, he added.
Though it is not clear if remdesivir can improve survival rates, the drug has shown efficacy in shortening recovery time for severely ill coronavirus patients. It is also the first antiviral drug to be recommended by health officials in the European Union (EU) and approved by Japan.
According to the Guardian, the U.S. has secured nearly all available remdesivir stocks for the next three months, alarming authorities in Europe and the rest of the world. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has openly warned of the consequences of the U.S. outbidding its allies and reemphasized the importance of global collaboration.