5040 Paxlovid pills arrive in Guyana for COVID-19 treatment

The Health Ministry on Monday received a donation of 5040 doses of Paxlovid from the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), to be used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony receiving the pills from UNICEF Representative Irfan Akhtar

The medication, valued at $100 million, is meant to reduce the hospitalisation timeframe of persons infected with the COVID-19 disease. This was made possible through an agreement between UNICEF and Pfizer BioNTech for the oral antiviral medicine to be procured at a lower cost, enabling greater access.
During his brief remarks, Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony said these pills will interrupt the lifecycle of the COVID-19 virus, causing a reduction in the length of the disease. Presently, Guyana’s infection and hospitalisation rates have been at a steady low.
“It’s really an antiviral medication and as you know, SARS-Cov-2 is a virus; and so, at critical points in its life cycle it would interrupt that life cycle and by doing so, prevent the virus from replicating and it has been quite effective in doing so…Making this medication available to Guyana is another milestone in our fight against COVID-19. We acknowledge the role of UNICEF in strengthening the COVID-19 campaign,” the Health Minister stressed.

Paxlovid will now be used to treat COVID patients in Guyana

Deputy Representative of UNICEF Guyana and Suriname, Irfan Akhtar underscored that UNICEF is committed to ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 therapies.
“These life-saving medicines have not been widely accessible to low and middle-income countries because of cost and availability. Our partners have been working to ensure that these countries benefit, including Guyana,” Akhtar committed.
The Paxlovid medication will be distributed across various regions of Guyana to treat patients with COVID-19.
Paxlovid, developed by Pfizer, and Molnupiravir, by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, have proven to significantly reduce both hospitalisation and death. The pills work to interrupt the life cycle of the virus by hampering its replication. The enzymes can produce enough errors to render it incapable of infecting people. The pills can be used to treat mild to severe case of the novel coronavirus.