KUCHING, June 27 — The oral antiviral drug for Covid-19 treatment Paxlovid is only available in government hospitals and not readily available as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in pharmacies, revealed Deputy Premier Datuk Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

“Because this is a new drug, it needs to be constantly monitored by our experts based on the established criteria.

“At the moment, the oral antiviral pills are only used (as treatment) for those under Category 4 and 5,” he told reporters after attending a graduation ceremony of FAME International College at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday.

The federal Ministry of Health (MoH) had allocated the state with 2,400 doses out of the first shipment of Paxlovid antiviral pills which arrived in Malaysia in April this year.


Dr Sim, in his Facebook post on April 12, said the state intends to purchase additional doses of the antiviral pills to complement those allocated by MoH.

Meanwhile, with the highly infectious Omicron Covid-19 sub-variants recently detected in Sarawak, Dr Sim strongly recommended those who are eligible to take their second Covid-19 booster jabs even though it is not compulsory for them to do so.

“I urge everyone to do that. Don’t wait until there’s a major outbreak,” he advised. — Borneo Post