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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Manila’s anti-COVID drugs open to everyone—Mayor Isko

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said non-Manila residents can avail of anti-COVID drugs from the city government, which has sufficient supplies of Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, Baricitinib, and Molnupiravir.

These life-saving medicines are currently in demand due to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases.

“To all our citizens looking for medicines, you are welcome here in the City of Manila. What is important if for people to live, for us to save lives, regardless of whether the patient is from Manila or not,” Domagoso said.

“In the city of Manila, we do not discriminate – there are no rich, no middle class and no poor people here. All will have equitable access to medicines. Our priority is to save lives,” he added.

Domagoso and his Manila City Hall staff have been busy these past few days distributing boxes of Molnupiravir to individuals who have contracted the more-contagious but less deadly Omicron variant.

Molnupiravir is the first oral antiviral drug that is said to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death among COVID-19 patients by as much as 50 percent. It also prevents mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 from progressing into severe disease provided that the drug is taken during the first five days of infection.

An initial 40,000 capsules of Molnupiravir were procured by the Manila city government and delivered to the Sta. Ana Hospital in November.

Domagoso said another delivery of Molnupiravir is expected by the end of January due to the high the demand for the medicine amid the new surge in COVID cases.

“All they have to do is coordinate with our Manila Health Department or in the numbers we have posted in our social media pages. We will deliver the medicines. All they need is a prescription because we cannot not dispense without the prescription,” the 47-year-old presidential aspirant added.

On Sunday, Aksyon Demokratiko vice presidential bet Dr. Willie Ong urged mayors to follow the lead of Domagoso and procure the life-saving Molnupiravir as soon as possible to prevent further deaths.

“I appeal to our mayors: Please buy anti-COVID drugs,” the noted cardiologist and internist said in a live video posted on his Facebook page.

He said the high number of fatalities could be connected to the lack of drugs, lack of public hospitals and lack of free health care for the poor.

Ong advised mayors to purchase an initial order of 500 courses of Molnupiravir since a new and more effective drug will be available by the first week of February.

He also advised them to place advance orders for Paxlovid which is touted to lessen the chances of hospitalization and death by 87 percent. Since Pfizer does not sell Paxlovid to local government units, Ong said a generic form, Vexovid, is readily available. 

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