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Covid: Antiviral pill Molnupiravir ‘to be rolled out - possibly before Christmas’

·2-min read
Covid: Antiviral pill Molnupiravir ‘to be rolled out - possibly before Christmas’

Fresh hope as the first at-home treatment for Covid could be offered to the most vulnerable patients before Christmas.

Molnupiravir antiviral pill – also known as Lagevrio – has already been hailed as a “game-changer” by the Health Secretary amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sajid Javid reportedly has plans to launch a pilot of the antiviral drug.

It was reported the NHS will roll out Molnupiravir to clinically vulnerable and immunosuppressed patients within as little as 48 hours of them testing positive for Covid.

Hospitals and GPs have reportedly been informed of Covid medicines delivery units being set up to ensure the treatment is given to patients as soon as it’s confirmed they have coronavirus.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “The UK has proven itself to be a world-leader in identifying and rolling out effective treatments for Covid-19, including through Government-backed national trials.

“The Government’s antivirals taskforce was launched to identify treatments for UK patients who have been exposed to Covid-19 to take at home, stopping the infection spreading and speeding up recovery time.

“There are a number of exciting opportunities in the pipeline and we will provide further details in due course.”

It comes amid the spread of the Omicron variant in the UK and across the globe.

New measures were brought in on Saturday as travellers now must take a pre-departure test.

Regardless of vacination status, anyone visiting the UK or returning from holiday must take a pre-departure test.

It will come into effect from from 4am on Tuesday December 7.

Mr Javid explained there were an “increasing number of cases linked to travel”.

Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps added: “As the scientists work to understand new Omicron variant we need to apply additional caution until picture is clearer.

“We appreciate this will be difficult for the travel sector as we prioritise public health & protect the progress of our world-leading vax & booster programme.”

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