Health officials admit ongoing surge in infections affecting Favipiravir supply

PHOTO: Facebook/อนุทิน ชาญวีรกูล (Public Health Minister)

Thailand’s Department of Medical Services says it’s struggling to maintain adequate supplies of Favipiravir tablets, due to the ongoing surge in Covid-19 infections. DMS chief Dr Natthaphong Wongwiwat says the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation is both producing and importing the pills, but the increase in demand is outstripping available resources. He says the situation should stabilise this week, with additional supplies arriving.

“However, distribution will return to normal after March 3, because many more pills will be added into the system.”

According to a Bangkok Post report, Natthaphong has suggested that, in the absence of Favipiravir, medics administer green chiretta instead. He says the alternative herbal treatment can be given to asymptomatic patients or those with only mild symptoms.

Meanwhile, Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit from the Public Health Ministry insists the country has adequate stock of Favipiravir tablets to cope with current infection numbers. According to Kiattiphum, the GPO is currently reserving 24 million pills, with another 60 million being produced. This means the GPO will have a total of 84 million pills for distribution nationwide. Health officials were responding to the Rural Doctors Society, after the group took to social media over the weekend to complain that several hospitals were running out of Favipiravir.

In related news, the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima is in a rush to prepare more beds for patients who are severely ill with Covid-19, as case numbers in the province continue to rise. The Bangkok Post reports that yesterday, the province reported 879 new cases, with 7,441 still undergoing treatment. Out of the province’s 8,019 beds, 3,798 are occupied. Out of 282 beds reserved for severe cases, 214 are occupied. Out of 2,256 beds for moderate cases, only 522 are still available.

Meanwhile, the governor of the southern province of Songkhla says that from April 1, only those who’ve received a third booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine will be permitted to enter and leave the province.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Coronavirus (Covid-19)Thailand News

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