Two doctors at Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok have notified medical journals of the treatment after having it verified by Chulalongkorn Hospital and the Department of Medical Sciences. The cure involves a mix of Aids drugs and medication for the 2012 MERS outbreak. On Sunday, China locked down the city of Wenzhou as the death toll and number of infections climb.
As Thailand still maintains flight links to China, Thai doctors have revealed that they have developed an effective treatment for those most at risk after contracting the coronavirus and those with life-threatening symptoms for the infection. The news was announced on Sunday as the Ministry of Publish Health said that there had been no new infections.
Thai doctors on Sunday revealed that they had found that a combination of AIDS medication and drugs used for the treatment of the deadly flu-like MERS outbreak was highly effective on a 71-year-old elderly Chinese patient whose condition had deteriorated over 10 days.
The positive news comes as China has announced the death toll from the outbreak has now reached 360 with over 16,400 infections. On Sunday, Chinese authorities locked down the southeastern city of Wenzhou with nearly 10 million inhabitants.
Medical journals notified of the treatment
After using the combination of drugs, the woman showed a marked improvement within 48 hours. The information was given to the media by Dr Kriangsak Atipornwanich, an expert physician in treating infections, and Associate Professor Subsai Kongsangdao.
The doctors were so impressed by the efficacy of the drug combination that they have notified medical journals so that the information about the treatment can be shared internationally.
Chinese transferred to Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok on 29th January from Hua Hin
The doctors began treating the Chinese patient who was transferred from Hua Hin to Rajavithi Hospital in the Ratchathewi district of Bangkok on the 29th of January after her condition had deteriorated.
They have since had their findings verified by Chulalongkorn Hospital and the Thai Department of Medical Sciences.
Treatment for MERS may not suit all patients
However, the two doctors pointed out that Oseltamivir, the key treatment for MERS, is not suited to all patients as one of the 19 people being treated for the coronavirus in Thailand already reacted negatively to the drug.
The doctors also conceded that their counterparts in China were already using AIDS medication with a combination of the drugs Ritonavir and Lopinavir.
Need a respirator to breathe
Doctors explained that the condition of the 71-year old woman was such that when she was transferred, she required a respirator to breathe having suffered 10 days of declining lab results.
However, with the drug treatment, she began an immediate recovery and was able to eat within 48 hours with a dramatic improvement in her overall medical condition.
No new coronavirus infection since last week
The move is some more good news for officials in Thailand who on Sunday announced that no new cases of the virus had been detected since the end of last week.
The number of cases still stood at 19 with 11 requiring medical attention. 8 have been sent home.
This information was confirmed by Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for Public Health.
Political disagreement over visas for Chinese tourists
It comes as the Thai Council of Economic Ministers on Friday did not act on a recommendation from the Minister for Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul, to cancel visa on arrival facilities for Chinese visitors.
On Friday, the prime minister, in opposing the move, indicated that already 80% of Chinese visitors had stopped coming to Thailand because of action within China to curb the spread of the virus including a ban on tourism excursions.