(Reuters) - Australia has granted provisional approval to Gilead Sciences Inc's remdesivir as the first treatment option for COVID-19 in the country, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) said on Friday.
The approval is for adults and adolescent patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms and have been hospitalised, the Australian regulator said. (https://bit.ly/2BWzAw7)
Remdesivir has become the treatment of choice for many countries against severely ill COVID-19 patients after the intravenously-administered medicine helped shorten hospital recovery times in a clinical trial.
The Australian approval broadens the use of remdesivir around the world - the United States has cleared it for emergency use and the European Commission has conditionally approved the treatment.
It is also approved as a COVID-19 therapy in Japan, Taiwan, India, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
Australia has been struggling to contain a COVID-19 outbreak in the country's second most populous city and on Friday said it would halve the number of citizens allowed to return home from overseas each week.
(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)