Nearly one million tablets of the Favipiravir antiviral drug are being consumed per day by COVID-19 patients in Thailand, according to the Public Health Ministry, as new records of infections are being set daily, with new high of 23,418 cases reported today (Friday).
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said yesterday that the ministry has assigned the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) to import more Favipiravir tablets, to accommodate the surge in demand.
Thailand currently has 15 million tablets of the drug in stock. 120 million tablets are to be delivered in August and September, while 100 million more tablets are scheduled to arrive between October and December, he said.
The GPO will locally produce 5 million tablets each month and will temporarily halt the production of other drugs which are not necessary at this time, to increase the production of Favipiravir to 30 million tablets per month.
Mr. Anutin also said that a special committee has been set up to handle the acquisition, allocation and production of Favipiravir. The drug will also be delivered to other provinces every 2-3 days. So far, he said that there have been no reports of drug shortage.
Favipiravir is an anti-viral drug first used to treat influenza in Japan and is now used to treat COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s COVID-19 infections continue to rise, with over 20,000 cases being reported for three consecutive days, despite the imposition of partial lockdown measures in 29 provinces.
184 more COVID-19 related deaths have also been reported over the past 24 hours, while more than 212,000 people across the country are being treated for the disease.
More deaths among people aged 60 and over and those with any of the seven specified non-communicable diseases have also been found, according to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)