TOKYO, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Japan's health ministry granted emergency approval to Japanese drugmaker Shionogi & Co.'s COVID-19 drug on Tuesday, making it the first domestically developed oral medicine against the virus.
The oral drug, Xocova, for coronavirus patients with mild symptoms, was given fast-track approval in Japan by a health ministry panel. The move comes as the country has recently seen a rebound in the number of daily coronavirus cases.
"I expect it will contribute to coronavirus measures as another choice of treatment," Japanese health minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters.
Two other oral medications for COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms, both developed by foreign pharmaceutical firms, have already been authorized for use in Japan.
Japan reported 121,460 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, up 79,036 from the figure of the previous day, with Hokkaido posting 11,394 new cases, a record-high daily figure for the northernmost Japan prefecture.