Covid-19: Paxlovid antiviral to be free, enough supply to treat 48,000 patients

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia received the first shipment of Covid-19 antiviral drug Paxlovid on April 9 and it is enough to treat 48,000 patients, says the Health Ministry.

Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the drugs are currently being distributed to government health facilities nationwide which includes 481 Covid-19 Assessment Centre (CAC) health clinics and 15 public hospitals.

“The antiviral drug will be used for Covid-19 patients aged 18 and above, with infection in Category 2 and 3 who do not need oxygen therapy, and those who are at higher risk of developing severe infection.

“Covid-19 patients who visit CACs and government hospitals will be assessed by medical officers before being treated with Paxlovid,” he said on Thursday (April 14).

The ministry has received a total of 104,700 Paxlovid courses, which will be distributed to Covid-19 patients for free.

Khairy said that despite the drug being able to reduce worsening symptoms due to Covid-19 infections, it is not intended to replace vaccination and compliance to standard operating procedures.

He added that on March 3, the Drug Control Authority conditionally approved Paxlovid, which reduces the coronavirus’ ability to replicate itself while improving the body’s immune system to fight the infection.

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