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Mar 01, 2022 / 18:03

Hanoi distributes over 400,000 Covid-19 Molnupiravir pills for free

Healthcare centers will distribute 40 tablets of 200mg antiviral drug Molnupiravir to every patient with the prescription of four tablets a day (equal to 800mg).

The Hanoi Department of Health on February 28 distributed 401,000 tablets of the antiviral drug Molnupiravir to 22 medical centers and five hospitals as the number of infections in the capital city continue to increase.

The pills were distributed for free, the department said, adding that Covid-19 patients receiving the drug should sign a commitment to join the treatment program and declare that they have no contraindications to the drug.

The Molnupiravir is developed by the US-based pharmaceutical companies Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck & Co., Inc.

  

 A Covid-19 patient under home treatment holds a box of Molnupiravir pills in Hanoi's Ba Dinh District. Photo: Vo Thu

Hospitals and healthcare centers treating Covid-19 patients must follow a guidebook issued by the National Lung Hospital on using the antiviral drug on patients with mild symptoms.

Healthcare centers will distribute 40 tablets of 200mg antiviral drug Molnupiravir to every patient with the prescription of four tablets a day (equal to 800mg).

Healthcare workers will monitor the patients’ health during the administration for 14 days. The leftover pills must be returned to healthcare centers.

   

In an interview with The Hanoi Times via phone, Director of the Hanoi health sector Tran Thi Nhi Ha said that her department also distributed 52,000 Molnupiravir pills last month for Covid-19 patients under treatment at home and in hospitals. "But the shortage of the antiviral drug is still reported," Ha noted.


"Covid-19 caseload would continue to increase in the coming days, an inevitable outcome of reopening following the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday. This move is seen as a decisive solution to fight against the evolving pandemic in the city and actively respond to the increasing number of infection cases,” Ha said.

She added that local healthcare centers must closely follow patients’ health, assist them at any time and transfer patients to higher treatment levels if necessary.

“Residents to stay calm if they become Covid-19 patients and search for information in the guidebook on treating Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms at home, issued by the municipal health department,” Ha added.

Hanoi is leading the country in terms of the number of infection cases. For the past week, the number of daily Covid-19 cases in the city has been rising steadily, going from over 5,400 cases on February 21 to 12,800 on February 28. The number of patients receiving home treatment also nearly doubled within the same time span. Since the fourth wave broke out in late April last year, the city has confirmed nearly 500,000 cases.

Earlier, Vietnam's health ministry in mid-February approved for the first time three anti Covid-19 drugs containing Molnupiravir for emergency use.

Molnupiravir drug reduces viral load in the early stages of the Covid-19 disease to help lower risks of severe symptoms and deaths.

Molnupiravir has been used globally for mild and asymptomatic Covid-19 patients. The medication has proved to be safe and effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization and death in people with mild to moderate patients who are at increased risk of developing severe disease.