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Top officials in Japan are increasingly hoping that an “antibody cocktail” treatment will serve as another pillar of the nation’s fight against COVID-19 after months of reliance on vaccines, following the expansion of the scope of the drug’s use beyond hospitalized patients.

The Suga administration eased rules governing its use earlier this month when the health ministry notified municipalities that the cocktail — a combination of two antibodies — can now be used for patients isolating at hotels repurposed as ad hoc medical facilities. Previously, the treatment was limited to hospitalized patients.

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