UK buys millions of COVID pills, cuts isolation period


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The UK government announced on Wednesday that it would purchase millions of new COVID treatments as the Omicron variant becomes established, while shortening the isolation period for positive cases.

The government said it has signed an agreement to purchase 4.25 million courses of two new antivirals, Pfizer’s ritonavir and US rival Merck / MSD’s molnupiravir. These will be available early next year.

This was welcomed as a “huge deal” by Health Minister Sajid Javid, in addition to the government’s announcement that it had raised hundreds of thousands of doses in October.

Molnupiravir, sold as Lagevrio, is used in national trials conducted by the University of Oxford. Man If you have it, you can participate virus Symptoms.

The government said it is now available to people at high risk of serious illness, such as cancer patients.

The United Kingdom was the first country in the world to approve pills in November this year.

Pfizer tablets sold as Paxlovid are not yet licensed anywhere in the world.

Pfizer said on Tuesday Clinical trials When taken a few days after the onset of symptoms, it showed a nearly 90% reduction in hospitalization and death in people at risk.

The government If approved by UK regulators, it will be deployed “as soon as possible”, similar to Molnupiravir.

Infections have surged in the UK since Omicron became the predominant variant, with 90,629 cases reported on Tuesday. This country is one of the hardest hit countries in Europe, Number of deaths Of 147,433.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson resisted the call to impose stricter virus restrictions on Christmas in the United Kingdom, unlike the delegated governments of other British countries.

Starting Wednesday, people who are infected with the virus but feel good will be able to get out of self-quarantine after 7 days instead of 10 days, and may be able to participate more in family celebrations.

According to NHS England, this rule applies only to those who have had two negative tests for immunochromatography.

At the same time, British leaders were expected to announce new anti-virus measures during the post-Christmas period.

The big New Year’s Eve event has already been canceled in London and Edinburgh.

Pfizer says COVID pills dramatically reduce serious illness

© 2021 AFP

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