Mainichi wrote that Health Minister Kato said during a press briefing on Tuesday that a plan to approve the use of the anti-flu drug Avigan for coronavirus treatment by the end of this month will be postponed. The paper wrote that although Prime Minister Abe said during a news conference on May 4 that the GOJ was hoping the drug would be approved by the end of this month, Kato said a third-party panel in charge of assessing clinical studies believes it is too early to scientifically evaluate the drug’s effectiveness. Kato added, however, that clinical studies and trials will continue next month and there is no change in his ministry’s plan to swiftly approve the drug as soon as its effectiveness is confirmed. The paper wrote that some experts have expressed concern that the government is rushing to approve Avigan for COVID-19 treatment and undermining the strict medical procedures in place to authorize the use of drugs. Fujita Health University released the results of its clinical trials of Avigan for 2,158 COVID-19 patients, saying no unexpected side effects have been confirmed. Sankei ran a similar report.