China granted provisional approval on Saturday to Pfizer’s Covid-19 oral medication Paxlovid for the treatment of people with mild to moderate illness but a high risk of developing severe disease.
According to official media sources, it is the first anti-coronavirus oral medicine particularly formulated to treat the viral illness to be licensed in China.
The National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), China’s top medical regulator, stated in a statement that while the medicine has been licensed to treat people with underlying illnesses, additional study is needed.
According to the NMPA release on Saturday, the medicine can be taken by those who have underlying conditions such as chronic renal disease, diabetes, cardiovascular illness, or chronic lung disease.
“This is a significant step forward in our fight against Covid-19,” a Pfizer official said in a statement, according to Reuters.
The decision sparked discussion about whether it suggested China might open its borders soon or loosen its strict pandemic-fighting regulations.
Despite cluster breakouts, the virus initially appeared in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 and has since been mainly contained throughout the country.
According to Wang Guangfa, a respiratory expert at Peking University First Hospital, the medicine would “…complement China’s already successful medical treatment methods by providing a much-needed shot for those with underlying diseases.”
“It will aid in the treatment of patients, but it will not prevent people from contracting the virus.” “It, like the vaccines, is only one component of the Covid-19 containment system,” according to the paper.
Wang stated that it is not the proper time for China to open up to the rest of the world while the epidemic is still raging elsewhere.
Vaccination is the most effective way to keep individuals from becoming sick and developing severe illnesses.
According to the national health commission (NHC), China has provided more than 3 billion Covid-19 vaccinations to date, completely vaccinating the majority of its population.
The Chinese government maintains the “dynamic zero case” policy for preventing disease transmission, promoting “four-early” measures for Covid-19 cases, including early discovery, early reporting, early quarantine, and early treatment.