|Molnupiravir for sale at Long Châu Drugstore in Hà Nội.— VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has advised asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to not use Molnupiravir as part of their treatment.
The ministry said Molnupiravir should only be used to treat mild to moderate cases in patients with at least one risk factor for severe disease progression.
The medicine should only be used by COVID-19 patients with symptoms that have developed for five days or less, and Molnupiravir should not be used for more than five days consecutively. In particular, it should not be used for post or pre-exposure prophylaxis.
The advice came after local medical reported that people have been flocking to buy the medicine to store in advance, or by people with COVID but without symptoms
The ministry said that COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms should use the medicine when their saturation of peripheral oxygen (SpO2) is higher than 96 per cent and the respiratory rate is less than 20 times per minute.
Those with moderate symptoms should use the medicine when the SpO2 is at 94-96 per cent, the respiratory rate is 20-25 times per minute, and when an x-ray lung lesion shows less than 50 per cent.
Those with underlying diseases can also use the medicine, the ministry said.
The dosage of the medicine is 800mg, two times a day, over five days.
Molnupiravir is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Breastfeeding women are told to not breastfeed while using the medicine and for four days after the last dose of Molnupiravir.
The medicine should also not be used on COVID-19 patients under 18 years old, as it can affect the development of bones and cartilage.
Molnupiravir can affect sperm in men, therefore, a reliable method of contraception should be used during treatment and for at least three months after the last dose of Molnupiravir.
401,000 tablets distributed in HN
In a related movement, Hà Nội’s Health Department has ordered Đống Đa General Hospital to distribute a total of 401,000 tablets of Molnupiravir to 22 local health centres and five hospitals in the city, following the department’s pilot programme of distributing Molnupiravir 200mg.
Under the department’s urgent dispatch, 16 health centres in Chương Mỹ, Hoàng Mai, Ứng Hòa, Long Biên, Phúc Thọ, Mê Linh Sóc Sơn, Hai Bà Trưng, Ba Đình, Thạch Thất, Thanh Xuân, Đống Đa, Đông Anh, Thanh Oai, Thường Tín and Phú Xuyên are allocated 20,000 tablets each. Six health centres of Cầu Giấy, Đan Phượng, Mỹ Đức, Hoài Đức, Ba Vì and Tây Hồ have been allocated 10,000 tablets each.
Hà Nội Mental Hospital is allocated 10,000 tablets; Đống Đa General Hospital will receive 4,000 tablets; Hà Đông General Hospital will receive 3,000 tablets; Thanh Nhàn Hospital and Lung Hospital will receive 2,000 tablets each.
The department told the director of the health centres and hospitals to urgently receive and distribute the medicine to COVID-19 patients, who have been treated at medical facilities and self-monitored at home following instructions of the ministry, to minimise the number of severe patients.
The health centres and the hospitals must update the treatment data on the system following the regulations on management, dispensing and use of Molnupiravir.
In the meantime, data from the HCM City’s Health Department show that the city now has 36,000 tablets of Molnupiravir ready to be distributed for free at medical facilities for eligible COVID-19 patients.
If a COVID-19 patient qualifies for Molnupiravir, doctors will prescribe and distribute the medicine for free, removing the need for local people to purchase the medicine themselves, the department said.
Việt Nam had a record-breaking single-day increase for the seventh day in a row on Monday, with a total of 94,385 cases of COVID-19.
This brings the country’s caseload to 3,443,485, placing Việt Nam at 30th of 225 countries and territories in terms of infections worldwide.
The capital city of Hà Nội continues to be the leading area for infections, with a record 12,850 cases and 21 deaths reported.
There are over 466,400 active COVID-19 transmissions under home treatment, accounting for 98.6 per cent of the total current caseload.
The seven-day rolling average of daily infections in Việt Nam is currently at 74,773, rising dramatically from 40,164 a week ago.
Over 193.62 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Việt Nam; including 176.45 million to adults, 70.76 million first doses, 68.55 million second doses and 23.45 million booster doses. — VNS