South Korea received the first supply of Pfizer’s antiviral COVID-19 pills on Thursday to treat patients with mild or moderate symptoms.
Health officials describe Paxrovid pills as a potentially important tool for controlling hospitalization and mortality.
South Korea’s initial supply is sufficient to support the five-day treatment course required for 21,000 people. Authorities say another drug batch will come by the end of January to provide 10,000 people with the required five-day course.
Workers were seen unloading tablet containers from an airplane at Incheon International Airport. The tablets will be transferred to a pharmaceutical warehouse in central Korea from Friday before being administered to patients nationwide.
Since the supply of Paxrovid will initially be tight in the global shortage, pills will initially be available only to patients over the age of 65 who are being treated at home or in shelters due to mild or moderate symptoms. Become.
The Korean Food and Drug Administration is also considering whether to grant an emergency use permit for Merck’s antiviral COVID-19 pill, molnupiravir.
South Korea has been working on a catastrophic Delta-led surge in recent months that has caused a surge in hospitalizations and deaths, but the infection slowed after authorities imposed the strictest virus regulations in the country to date in mid-December. Did. The rules ban private social gatherings of 5 or more people nationwide, and restaurants, Coffee shop, Gym, karaoke venue will be closed by 9 pm
However, officials say the virus could regain its rate in the coming weeks due to the spread of the Omicron variant, which is likely to become the country’s dominant strain by the end of this month. Son Younggrae, a senior health ministry official, said about 12% of the infections identified last week were due to the Omicron strain, which could account for more than 50% of cases within a week or two.
Experts say that Omicron, which is already predominant in many countries, is more susceptible to infection than other coronavirus strains. It also makes it easier for people who have been vaccinated with or have been infected with a previous version of the virus. but, Early research Less likely to be caused by Shoomicron Severe illness Vaccination and booster shots provide stronger protection from serious illness, hospitalization and death than the Delta type.
KDCA reported 4,167 new virus cases on Thursday. This includes past 391 cases related to international passengers.Almost 90% of cases related to international passengers are related to international passengers, according to people familiar with the matter. Omicron Case.
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