After over 3,500 Covid-19 patients in the Bangkok area couldn’t access home health services, health officials are rushing to mail them Favipiravir. The secretary-general of the National Health Security Office said it would take about five days for patients to receive the anti-viral drug in the mail, if their symptoms are not serious.
The NHSO has been overwhelmed by the number of Covid-19 patients calling it. Last week, it received its highest-ever number of calls, with 70,300 calls. The secretary-general said that week the NHSO had over 400 volunteers, but now he has recruited more. On top of the number of calls, he said there is also a backlog of patients waiting who already registered for isolation facilities. Existing isolation facilities are full.
The secretary-general recommends patients stay home in isolation for about 10 days after they take the medication.
Even though Thai health officials have admitted there is a shortage of Favipiravir in the country, some authorities have been making it more easily available. Last week in Chiang Mai, one hospital started letting patients pick up Favipiravir for free at a drive-thru clinic.
On Wednesday, however, Thailand’s Department of Health warned pregnant women with Covid-19 not to take Favipiravir, saying it could affect fetuses during the first trimester. The department’s director-general said the drug is usually only given to pregnant women during the last quarter of pregnancy, on a case-by-case basis.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World
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