Egypt provided the Merck’s COVID-19 drug Molnupiravir, Acting Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel Ghaffar announced on Monday.
Abdel Ghaffar said Egypt ranked first in Africa and the Middle East, fourth globally, in providing the drug. He also thanked the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) for issuing an emergency use authorization for Molnupiravir, noting that five national companies will manufacture the oral antiviral as a first stage.
On his part, Tamer Essam, Head of EDA, said Molnupiravir is the first medication for Covid which can be taken as a pill rather than injected or given intravenously, affirming that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had officially authorized the treatment.
In the same vein, Essam added that Molnupiravir can decrease hospitalizations and deaths by 50% for patients suffering from mild to moderate coronavirus illness.
He also pointed out that local companies have so far succeeded in producing about 25.000 packets, with the availability of raw materials sufficient to manufacture about 150.000 more. This comes as part of the state’s efforts to fight the Coronavirus pandemic.