Thursday, 9 December, 2021

Molnupiravir strengthens anti-coronavirus drive

The government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left no stone unturned to conduct an all out and effective fight against the deadly Coronavirus pandemic. Bangladesh, despite resource constraint, is one of the first countries to earmark adequate fund to procure corona vaccine and made arrangements with different countries for getting the supply and continue the massive inoculation initiative.

The vaccination programme still continues and is likely to go on until a significant proportion of the population is inoculated. As a result of this and the health guidelines issued from time to time, the galloping surge of the pandemic could be reined in and the number of deaths in corona related cases came down to 3 in 24 hours till Tuesday morning.

But despite the apparent success so far, there is no place for complacence and reason for lowering the guard. Inoculation drive both for the grown up and children above 12 years of age should be carried to the last. It is most encouraging to note that, for further strengthening of the anti-corona drive, the authorities have permitted the use of oral drug namely Molnupiravir and made arrangement for the production of the medicine locally. At least four pharmaceutical companies have so far been authorised to produce it.

Much to the relief of the people, the medicine is already available in the market and will be fully available within one or two weeks. This safe and effective drug is expected to cut the risk of hospitalisation or death from Covid-19 by 50 per cent. This drug will make fight against Coronavirus easier. The price of the medicine also seems to be affordable.

The pharmaceutical sector in the country is already a success story. Bangladesh now meets up nearly 80 per cent of the local demand for medicines and also exports a significant amount of the products to about 200 countries. The production of Molnupiravir will bring added advantage for the promising sector. However, precaution must be taken against undue increase in the price of the drug. Extra caution should be maintained against the production and marketing of adulterated or spurious medicines taking advantage of high demand for the drug.