Currently remdesivir is being tested in five Covid-19 clinical trials including by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) on 13 patients hospitalised after contracting coronavirus on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.

The first person to test positive with the virus in the US was also treated with drug and has since fully recovered.

A case report in the New England Journal of Medicine said the man began to feel better within one day of being treated with intravenous remdesivir.

On Tuesday evening, the President of Italy’s Liguria region Giovanni Toti said the area had seen ‘the first real case of coronavirus cured’, a 79-year-old man who was treated with remdesivir. He is due to return to his home in Lombardy soon.