Australia promotes oral antiviral treatments amid winter COVID-19 surge

Canberra [Australia], July 22 (ANI/Xinhua): The Australian government has launched a campaign to encourage the uptake of antiviral treatments for the coronavirus amid the winter spike in COVID-19 cases. Mark Butler, the Minister of Health, announced a new advertising campaign on Friday encouraging eligible Australians to access treatment.

Earlier in July, authorities expanded subsidized access to treatments under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This means that more people at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 can now receive subsidized oral antiviral treatments, including Australians aged 70 and over, those aged 50 and over with two risk factors, etc

The government’s move to promote adoption comes amid fears the first batch of 500,000 treatments that arrived in Australia in early 2022 could expire in the coming months. “While vaccination against COVID-19 remains the first and best defence, oral antiviral treatments offer another valuable tool in Australia’s response to COVID-19,” Butler said in a statement.

“We know these drugs can prevent people at risk from getting severe COVID-19, hospitalizations and worse.” Australia reported more than 50,000 new cases of COVID-19 and more than 50 deaths on Friday.

As of Thursday afternoon, a total of 8,966,804 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Australia, including 10,968 deaths and around 363,001 active cases, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health. There were 5,360 COVID-19 cases being treated in Australian hospitals on Thursday – up from 4,512 a week earlier – including 162 in intensive care units. It marks the highest number of hospitalizations in recent months. (ANI/Xinhua)

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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