MoH using new drug to prevent patients going to severe categories

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By John Isaac

THE Health Ministry is using a new drug combination to accelerate improvement and prevent the risk of developing pneumonia for Category 1 and 2 Covid-19 patients.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the information on the improvement, or the transition from Category 1 of Covid-19 patients to more severe health conditions under Categories 3 to 5, was dynamic.

Following this, Dr Adham said the Health Ministry would continue to monitor and get patient information through self-assessment on the MySejahtera mobile application.

“At the moment, we are using a new drug formulation, by administering Baricitinib, at a rate of two to four milligrams to those who are confirmed Covid-19 positive.

“This medicine is to prevent the risk of (patients heading towards) more severe categories – three, four and five,” he said as reported by The New Straits Times.

Earlier, Dr Adham and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri witnessed the handover of Pharmaniaga’s final batch of Sinovac vaccines to the Health Ministry for the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme (NIP), four months ahead of schedule.

On vaccination involving school students, Dr Adham said at the moment, the plan was for students to enter schools in September by adhering to the current Covid-19 guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOP).

He said the current clinical data on Pfizer vaccines for children was not enough to warrant a decision on the matter by the government.

As such, the decision to vaccinate teenagers aged 12 to 17 could not be finalised yet, he said, adding that the ministry would require a more detailed report on this from pharmaceutical companies.

“For now, we will be using the public health control approach to curb the chain of infection in schools,” he said.