The southern city is currently the biggest COVID-19 hot spot with 4,000-7,000 cases recorded daily since mid-July, and the main objective right now is to reduce deaths among severe cases as medical facilities strain to handle large inflows of patients.

The first batch of Remdesivir imported by Vingroup arrived at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City on August 5. (Photo courtesy of Pham Sanh Chau, Vietnamese Ambassador to India)

The ministry noted that through donation sources in the past, the drug appears to help reduce the viral load in the infected, but cautioned that members of public should not look for or stock up on these drugs.

The administration and the doses required must be indicated by doctors.

Luong Ngoc Khue, Director of the Health Ministry's Department of Medical Examination and Treatment, said that Remdesivir is still after all a new drug and the administration of this drug must be closely followed to see its actual effectiveness.

On August 6, the Ministry of Health held a meeting on COVID-19 treatment, in which they discussed the use of anticoagulant (oral drug), antiviral drugs including Remdesivir, monoclonal antibody drugs, and prone positioning.

However, it has not officially approved the drug yet.

Future batches of the drugs will be allocated to HCM City and the southern region, and if other localities need some then adjustments could be made.

Vingroup said it had negotiated successfully for 500,000 vials of Remdesivir from Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla under licensing agreement from US-based Gilead Sciences. The first batch arrived at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City on August 5.

A further 100,000 vials are expected to be delivered to Vietnam next week.

Source: VNA