Public health secretary says “drugs are not snacks, no Favipiravir given if not necessary”

Previously, the Public Health Ministry had decided to provide the anti-viral drug Favipiravir to more groups of Covid-19 patients, including patients who had only mild symptoms or no symptoms. However, the ministry secretary told Thai media yesterday that the direction has changed, and Favipiravir will be given to Covid-19 patients “only if necessary”.

The authorities also warned of side effects of the medicine that could cause hepatitis or change eye colour to blue (in rare cases), and it was suggested not to take it together with the traditional folk medicine, green chiretta.

Kiattiphum Wongrajit, the Public Health Ministry Secretary, said Favipiravir will be provided according to a doctor’s consideration. He said there was a misunderstanding that every Covdi-19 patient had to take Favipiravir, because the state provided it a lot in the past.

Kiattiphum said the patients should understand that “medicine isn’t a snack”, because of side effects. Only patients with moderate symptoms and above would receive the medicine, and some may receive chiretta tablets or Fah Talai Jone in Thai, which should not be taken together with Favipiravir.

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The Secretary said most patients infected with Omicron didn’t have many symptoms, so their bodies could recover on their own. The Deputy Director-General of the Department of Medical Services, Nattapong Wongwiwat, also added that the Covid-19 symptoms now are similar to a normal fever different from the Delta variant.

Nattapong said home isolation was the primary treatment for now. He said that doctors would take around 2-3 days to consider the level of the patent’s symptoms. If they have a high fever for 24 hours, rapid breathing, and low blood oxygen, patients can contact an emergency hotline at 1669 to access treatment in a hospital.

SOURCE: Khaosod

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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