COVID-19: Israel claims "significant breakthrough" in virus treatment

State of Israel has claimed "significant breakthrough" in the treatment of coronavirus patients. According to Israel’s defence minister Naftali Bennett, researchers in the country have made a “significant breakthrough” in a possible treatment for Covid-19 patients.

Bennett said the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) developed antibodies – proteins that help the immune system to fight infection – that “can neutralise (the coronavirus) inside carriers’ bodies.”

Bennett had visited the IIBR on Monday where he was briefed “on a significant breakthrough in finding an antidote for the coronavirus”, his office said in a statement. The treatment was currently being patented, and the IIBR was looking to mass-produce it.

It was not clear what timeframe for the treatment being widely available was, or if animal or human trials were due to be conducted.

The announcement follows a similar study by researchers in the Netherlands, who said on Monday that they had developed an antibody that can kill the virus within a lab setting.

Roughly 100 other research groups around the world are currently pursuing vaccines, which would provide immunity from infection.

In Africa, Madagascar has announced a national breakthrough in herbs for the treatment of the pandemic virus. In April, the president of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina has officially launched a local herbal remedy claimed to prevent and cure the novel coronavirus.

“Tests have been carried out — two people have now been cured by this treatment,” Rajoelina told ministers, diplomats and journalists at the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA), which developed the beverage.

"This herbal tea gives results in seven days,” he said.

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