The Osaka Prefectural Government said Friday that the country’s first antibody cocktail treatment has been administered to a COVID-19 patient isolating at home in the western prefecture.

The antibody cocktail therapy, aimed at preventing severe symptoms, was conducted by a visiting doctor on a trial basis, according to the prefectural government.

The development came after the health ministry issued a notice approving the treatment earlier Friday for COVID-19 patients isolating at home across the country.

The central government had previously limited antibody cocktail treatment for hospitalized patients and outpatients.

The health ministry decided to allow the treatment at home on condition that a system is in place to monitor clinical conditions of patients within 24 hours after the treatment is administered through an intravenous drip.

Speaking to reporters in Osaka, before the first such treatment at home was administered, Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura said that the COVID-19 patient in question was an individual under the age of 40 who was isolating at home with mild symptoms that could turn severe.

The prefectural government will examine the challenges and effects of the therapy and share the results with the health ministry.

By providing treatment to COVID-19 sufferers at home as soon as possible, the prefectural government aims to reduce the number of people developing severe symptoms as much as possible in preparation for a possible sixth wave of infections, Yoshimura said.

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