KUCHING: Sarawak is procuring more of Pfizer’s Paxlovid antiviral drug as it is expected that the state will need an extra 3,800 doses until August this year.
Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said medical experts in the state had predicted that an additional amount of the said drug would be needed.
“The federal government has bought 48,000 doses of the Paxlovid antiviral drug and of that, Sarawak will receive 2,400 doses.
“However, our medical experts predicted that until August this year, we would need another 3,800 more doses.
“This drug is in great demand worldwide and we cannot wait until we need it before we purchase it.
“So, based on predictions, the Sarawak government has asked our State Health Department to help us buy the drug,” he said to reporters after a bubur lambuk distribution programme at Surau Nurul Najihin Kampung Stapok, Jalan Batu Kawa on Sunday (Apr 24).
Dr Sim, who is also Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government said the Paxlovid antiviral drug contains five tablets and will be administered free to Sarawakians.
“It will be one dose and one dose is for each person. So, you must consult the medical doctors first because the pills can have drug-to-drug interactions and it has some side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting or loss of taste.
“And this drug cannot be purchased off the pharmacies or from the private facilities. So the doctors in the hospital will assess you based on the need and they will look at your medical history and whether you are prepared or not,” he explained.
The programme, meanwhile, was organised by the Kampung Stapok Neighbourhood Watch in collaboration with Kampung Stapok Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Women and Youth Wings as well as Surau Nurul Najihin Management Committee.
The programme saw a total of 200 bubur lambuk distributed to the residents of Kampung Stapok.
Donations were also presented to 12 youth who participated in ‘Tadarus Al-Quran’ activities at Surau Nurul Najihin as well as the presentation of a wheelchair to 74-year-old.