KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — The antiviral drug Molnupiravir will be given free of charge to COVID-19 patients who are symptomatic for at least five days or category three, four and five patients, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.
He said although the adult population full vaccination rate was now close to 90 per cent, the Health Ministry (MOH) finds that COVID-19 infections were still occurring.
“We need these treatment pills in addition to our vaccination program. We found that with these pills we give doctors the option to give them to those who have not been vaccinated and those who have. It will be given for free.
“Merck Sharp & Dohme clinical trials have shown its effectiveness in treating categories three, four and five cases, especially those with symptoms for four to five days,” he said after visiting the Kuala Lumpur Hospital here today.
The government, through the Health Ministry, signed a Letter of Undertaking (LoU) to procure the antiviral drug Molnupiravir to add new innovative treatment options in the fight against COVID-19.
Through the agreement with American multinational pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp & Dohme, the government agreed to procure 150,000 complete treatment packages to treat COVID-19 patients.
Molnupiravir is also proven to be effective against more aggressive COVID-19 variants such as Gamma, Delta and Mu.