The SMS begins to apply from this Monday the new strategy against the pandemic, with the elimination of quarantines and isolations in mild or asymptomatic cases
The Ministry of Health received this Monday the first 382 units of Paxlovid, Pfizer’s antiviral that adds to the weapons that the health system had until now to deal with Covid. The drug will be intended for vulnerable patients, with a higher risk of developing serious illness, although Health is still waiting for the criteria to be finalized this week in the Ministry’s Pharmacy Commission. In this way, the forecast is that the new drug begins to be prescribed next week. Salud will receive a second batch for the Region of Murcia of 930 units the second week of April.
Paxlovid reduces the risk of hospitalization by 90% in patients with mild symptoms but at high risk of worsening to severe disease, according to clinical trials. The Ministry of Health has acquired 344,000 units of this antiviral, and this Monday a first batch of 12,000 was distributed throughout Spain.
The antiviral comes at a time of change in the strategy against the pandemic. From now on, efforts will focus precisely on the protection of the most vulnerable groups, the Minister of Health, Juan José Pedreño, highlighted on Monday. Tests or PCR will continue to be carried out on all those over 60 years of age, pregnant women and immunosuppressed people who present any symptom compatible with Covid, but in the rest of the population these tests will be limited to patients with severe symptoms. In addition, those who present mild symptoms or test positive in a test while asymptomatic will not have to be isolated. Of course, Pedreño stressed that these people should “reduce social interactions to the maximum”, wear a mask and avoid crowded events.
The monitoring of the pandemic will be carried out through a ‘sentinel’ system, as is already the case with the flu. Serious cases will be reported, as well as mild cases in the vulnerable population. Hospital pressure will also allow us to check how the pandemic is evolving.
The Murcian Health Service will now have to adapt its protocols, because in the appointment service, through the web or the ‘app’, the previous strategy is still maintained. For example, with tabs for the notification of the self-test result, information that will no longer be dumped into the epidemiological surveillance systems, explained the counselor. Pedreño advised those with symptoms to consult with their doctors by telephone, before the face-to-face appointment, but recalled that this option is available.
Regarding the epidemiological situation, the incidence was reduced by 10% last week in the Region of Murcia after increases in previous weeks, reported Pedreño. 84 Covid patients remain hospitalized in the Region, compared to 96 on Friday. 14 of these patients are in the ICU.
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