Bahrain approves use of Covid-19 antiviral drug

Pill is given to people with mild to moderate symptoms who are at a higher risk of developing severe condition

FILE PHOTO: A member of medical staff wearing protective gloves carries a swab tested during a drive-thru coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing at Bahrain Exhibition Center, in Manama, Bahrain April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo
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Bahrain approved the emergency use of the oral Covid-19 antiviral drug Paxlovid on Sunday.

Its health regulator authorised the treatment for adults who have mild to moderate symptoms and are at a higher risk of developing severe Covid-19 that may lead to death, the kingdom’s state news agency said.

The National Health Regulatory Authority had evaluated data provided by the Pfizer, the drug’s manufacturer, the news agency said. A batch of the medicine was ordered and was scheduled for arrival this month.

Bahrain’s health ministry said 615 new cases were reported in the 24-hour reporting period, including 105 related to travel.

Paxlovid consists of two co-packaged antiviral medicines – PF-07321332 and Ritonavir – designed to stop the virus that causes Covid-19 from multiplying in the body and to help patients overcome the infection.

In late December, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of Paxlovid to treat “mild to moderate” coronavirus cases in adults and children over 12 years old who weigh at least 40 kilograms.

“The authorisation introduces the first treatment for Covid-19 that is in the form of a pill that is taken orally – a major step forward in the fight against this global pandemic,” Dr Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA’s Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research, said at the time.

In November, Bahrain approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for use in children aged between 5 and 11. After clinical trials and studies, the country’s health authority found the shot to be as effective in children as it is in people aged 16 to 25.

The first batch of these vaccines for children is set to arrive early this year, the country announced earlier.

Six vaccines have been approved in Bahrain, including the Chinese-manufactured Sinopharm and the Russian-made Sputnik.

Updated: January 02, 2022, 6:00 PM
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