Philippines to produce the oral anti-Covid-19 drug Molnupiravir as Asean reported over 32,000 new cases on Friday (Oct 22)

Image from The Nation Thailand/ANN

BANGKOK, Oct 23 (The Nation Thailand/ANN): The number of Covid-19 cases crossed 12.93 million across Southeast Asia, with 32,368 new cases reported on Friday (October 22), higher than Thursday’s tally at 29,883.

New deaths are at 585, increasing from Thursday’s number of 573. Total Covid-19 deaths in Asean are now at 274,675.

Malaysia’s Tourism Ministry aims to reopen the country to international tourists in November, and travelers from neighboring Singapore could be among the first to be allowed into the country.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 300,000 people crossed the Malaysia-Singapore land border each day, while the air route between Singapore and Malaysia's capital city Kuala Lumpur was one of the busiest globally.

Meanwhile, US major drugmaker Merck and Co is considering the possibility of letting Philippine manufacturers produce the oral anti-Covid--19 drug Molnupiravir to make it readily available in the country.

It is estimated that Molnupiravir will be available in the Philippines by next month, although this would still be dependent on the decision of Indian authorities in allowing exports of the antiviral medicine.

The price of the drug in the Philippines will not be as high as US$700 per course, which is the price that US government paid Merck. - The Nation Thailand/ANN

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