HCMC mulls free molnupiravir distribution

By Minh Nga   March 14, 2022 | 11:38 pm PT
HCMC mulls free molnupiravir distribution
A box of Molnupiravir drug produced by Boston Vietnam in southern Binh Duong Province, February 23, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Ho Chi Minh City's Health Department has called on the local administration to give out Covid-19 drugs containing molnupiravir to patients.

For now, the Ministry of Health still lists Covid in Group A, which comprises dangerous infectious diseases with the ability to spread quickly and widely, have a high mortality rate or an unknown causative agent.

It is regulated that anyone infected with diseases of this group will be treated for free.

As molnupiravir has been approved for Covid-19 treatment in Vietnam, patients would be offered the drug for free, Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai, office chief of the department, told a city meeting on Covid-19 prevention and control Monday.

However, the source of the drug that the ministry has allocated for HCMC is running out while there are now many active Covid-19 patients in the city.

Therefore, it is necessary that authorities use the state budget to buy the drug and distribute to patients, she quoted the proposal by the Health Department, Vietnam News Agency reported.

HCMC currently has 102,224 Covid-19 patients isolated at home, according to department data.

"Via medical centers in wards and communes, the drug will be provided for self-isolated Covid-19 patients qualified to use it in line with the Health Ministry's guidance," said Mai.

The Ministry of Health last month approved three anti Covid-19 drugs containing molnupiravir for emergency use and several drug stores in the city have started selling them.

However, many people have been denied purchases of molnupiravir pills since they couldn't meet requirements.

For now, drug stores would only sell the drug to Covid-19 patients with either documents to confirm their infection, or a prescription.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, the number of daily confirmed cases in HCMC in the past 14 days has surged by 98 percent compared to the previous two weeks to more than 2,500.

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