NHK, NTV, and Kyodo reported that a provisional evaluation of the results of a clinical test of the flu drug Avigan apparently did not verify its effectiveness in treating the novel coronavirus. In the trial conducted at a medical college in Aichi Prefecture, the drug was administered to a total of 86 COVID-19 patients with mild or no symptoms. They were divided into two groups, with the patients in the first group being given Avigan for ten days beginning on the day they were admitted to the hospital. The patients in the second group were given the drug for six days starting on the sixth day after hospitalization. The results apparently did not show any meaningful difference between the two groups in reduction of viral load. A third-party panel of experts who reviewed the results reportedly decided that it is still too early to draw a conclusion on the effectiveness of the medicine, recommending the continuation of such tests before making a final evaluation. The outlets projected that it is becoming increasingly difficult for the Health Ministry to approve Avigan for COVID-19 treatment by the end of this month as promised by Prime Minister Abe.