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Thailand scrambles for COVID-19 antiviral as vaccines run short

Bangkok to import more Favipiravir as patient numbers surge

The Thai government began converting an air cargo warehouse into a field hospital at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok on July 28 as the number of COVID-19 patients climbs.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- After a botched vaccine rollout that saw a third wave of COVID-19 wash over Thailand, the country is rushing to secure supplies of the antiviral medication Favipiravir as the number of patients and fatalities spirals higher.

The Pharmacy Council of Thailand has issued a warning letter to the Public Health Ministry about a possible shortage of Favipiravir, as demand for the drug is forecast to surge as high as 30 million pills per month and could reach more than 50 million pills if the number of COVID-19 patients continues to rise.

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