Local pharmacies to distribute Covid antiviral drugs

02 May, 2022

Courtesy of ICRT


The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) says local pharmacies will soon be allowed to distribute coronavirus antiviral drugs to people quarantined at home.


The statement comes as health minister Chen Shih-chung is continuing to revise upwards his forecast for the number of cases expected to be seen in a single day as the current coronavirus outbreaks moves towards its peak. According to Chen, that figure could go as high as 200,000 cases. That is up from the 45,000 to 100,000 cases forecast by Chen on 27 April.


The revised distribution programme has been recommended by experts who say more non-hospitalized patients will need access to the drugs such as Pfizer's Paxlovid and Merck's molnupiravir.


Currently, only people hospitalized with the coronavirus can be prescribed the drugs. The health minister says drugs will be sent to local drug distribution centres and key pharmacies beginning tomorrow for patients quarantining at home.Local clinics or home care teams will be able to write remote prescriptions for patients and pharmacists will deliver the prescriptions or relatives of those in quarantine can pick them up.


This comes after the CECC reported 17,858 new coronavirus cases on Monday. Of that total, 17,801 were domestic infections.New Taipei reported the highest number with 6,584. That was followed by Taipei with 3,718, Taoyuan with 2,577, Keelung with 874, and Taichung with 839 cases.Three new deaths were also reported, two women between the ages of 80 and 100 and one man in his 70s. Fifty-seven new imported cases were also reported.


All three had been previously listed as severe cases and had histories of chronic illness. That brings the death toll here in Taiwan since the pandemic began to 871. Fourteen more patients have also developed moderate symptoms, while seven have severe symptoms.


The CECC also reported Taiwan's youngest coronavirus patient to have been diagnosed with a severe coronavirus infection. According to health officials, the case involves a baby girl under the age of one who has a nervous system disease and is unvaccinated.She developed a fever on 26 April and her parents sought medical attention at a clinic before returning home. However, the baby experienced difficulty breathing on April 28 and was rushed to a hospital where she tested positive for the coronavirus.According to the epidemic command center, the baby girl has been placed on a ventilator and is being treated with an antiviral drug in an intensive care unit. Health authorities have recorded two severe coronavirus cases in children under five years old.


Of the 106,912 domestic cases reported so far this year, 240 have been classified as moderate infections and 35 as severe. The remainder of the cases have involved only mild symptoms or the individuals were asymptomatic.

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