Abang Johari wants Sarawak to procure necessary Covid-19 drugs

Covid-19 (file photo).

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KUCHING, March 6: Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has instructed the State authorities to procure the necessary Covid-19 drugs to supplement the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) efforts in the fight against Covid-19.

In stating this, Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the State government is depending on Sarawak Covid-19 Vaccine Advisory Group (Scovag) to recommend new emerging Covid-19 drugs such as Molnupiravir by MSD which the group had been looking into since last year.

“Thanks to Scovag led by Prof Datu Dr Andrew Kiyu for discussing with Pfizer on the procurement of the oral antiviral Paxlovid drug.

“Similar arrangement was made on Ronapreve drug by Roche where the drug has been made available in all four major public hospitals in Sarawak since last year to complement MOH’s effort,” he said in a Facebook post today.

Dr Sim who is also the Public Health, Local Government and Housing Minister said in order to speed up the procurement process for the necessary Covid-19 drugs, Sarawak needs to pursue healthcare autonomy under Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

This includes the establishment of Sarawak Drug Control Authority, the State’s very own Ministry of Health and a professional council for medical practitioners in the State.

Yesterday (March 5), federal Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin during a press conference in Petaling Jaya confirmed that Malaysia will receive an initial shipment of 110,000 treatment courses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 oral antiviral treatment Paxlovid, this month.

The MOH, he said, is also looking at procuring two other Covid-19 antivirals namely Molnupiravir and AstraZeneca’s Covid antibody drug. — DayakDaily