THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said in its Facebook page that the Public Health Ministry is gearing up to directly import Pfizer’s Covid-19 drug Paxlovid by mid-April with this medicine showing 89 percent reduction in the risk of hospitalisation and death in clinical trials, Matichon newspaper and Yale Medicine said.
This comes after 2 million molnupiravir pills produced by Merck arrived last week, with this being enough for 50,000 treatment courses. However some studies suggest that molnupiravir has only a 30 percent reduction in the risk for hospitalisation and death from Covid-19.
Like all antivirals, Paxlovid works best early in the course of an illness—in this case, within the first five days of symptom onset, says Jeffrey Topal, MD, a Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist who is involved in determining Covid-19 treatment protocols for Yale New Haven Hospital patients.
“Once you’ve been ill with the virus for more than a week, the damage done to the body in a severe case can’t be undone by the antiviral,” he says.
Meanwhile Mr. Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha attached great importance to reducing infection and mortality rates as Covid-19 continues to spread in the country leading to an increase in the number of patients.
It is worrying that the number of Covid patients suffering from pneumonia totalled 1,432 yesterday, or an average of 18 per province, with bed occupancy rate of 25.9 percent and most of the patients either over 60 years of age or having underlying illnesses.
This partly stems from people only getting two Covid jabs or none at all with the Public Health Ministry’s data showing that the third booster jab does reduce severity of infection and death.
Gen. Prayut has told all relevant agencies to quickly vaccinate those who have not been jabbed and also give a booster shot to those who have not got one especially among those in the 608 risk group, that is over 60 years of age, suffering from chronic illnesses and pregnant women, and children.
CCSA said this morning there were 21,382 Covid cases and 83 deaths over the past 24 hours with 21,324 being domestic while 58 foreign arrivals tested positive. This increased the cumulative confirmed total since Jan. 1 to 1,175,357 and since the start of the pandemic 3,398,792.
Today’s 83 fatalities raised the death toll to 24,417.
Another 24,824 patients were cured taking total recoveries since Jan. 1 to 969,067 with 236,814 still undergoing treatment.
Top: An image illustrating Paxlovid pill’s ability to fight Covid. Photo: Europeanpharmaceuticalreview.com
Home Page: Some Paxlovid pills. Photo: NNT