KUALA LUMPUR, The Paxlovid antiviral drug treatment is still effective despite the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan said the antiviral treatment can still reduce the COVID-19 symptom and prevent it from worsening.

He said high-risk COVID-19 patients, namely those aged 60 and above with low immunity levels as well as have any type of comorbidity or obesity, are recommended to get the Paxlovid antiviral drug.

“Paxlovid is effective if taken within five days of the start of symptoms. As such, high-risk patients are recommended to undergo tests the moment they have the symptoms.

“If the COVID-19 test turns out positive, please get early medical evaluation at nearby healthcare facilities to determine whether you can take Paxlovid,” he said in a statement today.

However, he said there was a perception that the drug is not effective to treat COVID-19 patients, adding that this could be due to, among others, the drug being used by those not at risk.

Dr Muhammad Radzi said it could also be due to the patients being late in receiving treatment, in addition to the drugs interacting with other medicines, especially when patients take medications for chronic diseases.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency