Coronavirus: Thai doctors ‘successfully treat’ virus but stocks plunge in China


A Chinese woman infected with the new coronavirus showed a dramatic improvement after she was treated with a cocktail of anti-viral used to treat flu and HIV, Thailand’s health ministry said on Sunday.

But as markets opened in China on Monday morning some majors shares fell by the maximum daily limit as the country’s investors got their first chance in more than a week to react to the spiralling coronavirus outbreak.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dived 8.73 percent and the Shenzhen Composite Index sank 8.99 per cent.

The scale of the plunge was remarkable even by the standards of China’s notoriously volatile share markets, indicating deep concern over the viral outbreak’s economic impact. The yuan also weakened by nearly 1.5 per cent to around 7.00 to the dollar.

In Thailand, the 71-year-old patient tested negative for the virus 48 hours after doctors administered the combination, doctor Kriengsak Attipornwanich said during the ministry’s press briefing.

“The lab result of positive on the coronavirus turned negative in 48 hours,” Kriengsak said.

“From being exhausted before, she could sit up in bed 12 hours later.”

The doctors combined the anti-flu drug oseltamivir with lopinavir and ritonavir, anti-virals used to treat HIV, Kriengsak said, adding the ministry was awaiting research results to prove the findings.

The news comes as the new virus claimed its first life outside China – a 44-year-old Chinese man who died in the Philippines – while the death toll in China has soared above 360. The number of cases is now above 17,200.

Thailand so far has detected 19 confirmed cases of the virus believed to have originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, which is under lockdown.

That is the second highest number of cases outside of China, with Japan recording 20.

So far, eight patients in Thailand have recovered and returned home, while 11 remain in hospital.

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