KUCHING, Oct 30 ― Sarawak will buy the anti-Covid-19 pill once it is approved and ready for distribution in the country, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“I have told (Datuk Seri) Dr Sim (Kui Hian) and (Datuk Amar Douglas) Uggah that we want to buy this pill once it has been given the approval for use.

“We will buy it for the people’s safety. I also want everyone to continue to take care of themselves against the new Covid-19 variant,” he said at the presentation of land titles in Kampung Semariang Batu here yesterday.

Malaysia has recently signed a letter of undertaking to purchase the antiviral drug (Molnupiravir) which is developed by Merck Sharp & Dohme.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said through the agreement, the government has agreed to procure 150,000 complete treatment packages (patient courses) to treat Covid-19 patients.

“This decision was made in preparation for us to begin the transition to the endemic phase of living with the Covid-19 virus by adding new innovative treatment options as a ‘weapon’ to fight Covid-19, in addition to the use of vaccines and other public health measures,” he was quoted as saying.

Khairy said that Molnupiravir, however, could not prevent infection. It is only beneficial for those who are already infected with Covid-19.

He said that “both methods” were needed to lower the Covid-19 disease burden, leading to a greater impact in efforts to prevent and control the transmission of virus.

“In the meantime, the Ministry of Health (MoH) will continue to monitor the development of drugs related to the treatment of Covid-19 patients around the world, to ensure that our country is not left behind in getting the best treatment for the people of Malaysia,” he added. ― Borneo Post