Medical authorities in China said a drug used in Japan to treat new strains of influenza is effective in corona virus patients, Japanese media said on Wednesday.

Zhang Xinmin, an official from the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, said favipiravir, developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm, has had encouraging results in 340 patients in clinical trials in Wuhan and Shenzhen.

“It has a high level of safety and is clearly effective in treatment,” Zhang told reporters on Tuesday.

Patients who received the drug in Shenzhen became negative for the virus after a median of four days after the positive, compared to an median of 11 days for those who were not treated with the drug, the public broadcaster NHK said.

In addition, x-rays confirmed improvement in lung condition in approximately 91% of patients treated with favipiravir compared to 62% or patients without the drug.

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