Access to COVID-19 anti-viral medication expanded & More News


Access to low cost antiviral drugs to combat COVID-19 is now obtainable for all Australians aged over 70, no matter underlying medical situations, after the federal authorities expanded eligibility for the remedy to ease stress on the hospital system.

Access to the medication has additionally been expanded to folks aged over 50 with two or extra threat elements for extreme illness, or over 30 for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander folks with threat elements.

Health Minister Mark Butler.

Health Minister Mark Butler.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Health Minister Mark Butler mentioned greater than 73,000 Australians have already benefited from the medicines, that are taken orally in pill kind, and are offered for $6.80 to these with a concession card, and round $40 for everybody else.

“These are cheap medicines and they’re very effective. They will reduce the incidence of severe disease across the community and very importantly relieve that pressure we’re now seeing build on our hospitals,” Butler mentioned on ABC’s Insiders on Sunday.

“COVID-19 can be very serious for adults in high-risk groups, even when they are fully vaccinated.

“For these people, new oral antiviral treatments help keep people out of hospital, reducing the pressure on our health system, and can save lives.”

Butler mentioned infections have been booming below the third wave of Omicron this yr, however there was no medical recommendation that mandated mask-wearing was wanted.

“We already have about a quarter of a million people today with COVID, officially, and probably tens of thousands not having reported it. There’s 4000 people in hospital with COVID and a few hundred deaths every week from COVID. So this is very serious,” Butler mentioned.

“There’s no advice to me we should introduce broad-based mask mandates. The chief health officers met in the last couple of days and there was such advice given by them. In this phase of the pandemic mask mandates and things like that are best done in a targeted way. There’s mask mandates in aged care, in health facilities, on public transport, on airplanes. And if you’re in a crowding indoor space with no ability to socially distance you should give strong consideration to wearing a mask.”


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