FRIEND OR FAMILY:
The policy was changed to allow COVID-19 cases with the potential for serious illness to have easier access to lifesaving medications, the CDC said.
By Wu Liang-yi, Lee Hsin-fang and Liu Tzu-hsuan / Staff Reporters, with Editor and CNA
Starting today, people with COVID-19 can send a family member or friend to a doctor on their behalf to get the oral antiviral drug Paxlovid, or any other drug if deemed appropriate, a the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday.
Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy chief of the CECC’s Medical Response Division, said the policy was created to allow patients at risk of developing severe symptoms to receive timely therapeutic drugs.
Cases eligible for Paxlovid, an oral antiviral drug for the treatment of COVID-19, can ask a family member or friend who is not in quarantine or home isolation to see a doctor for consultation in their name, he said.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
The person should bring the National Health Insurance (NHI) card of the patient in question, as well as proof of a positive COVID-19 test, such as a digital COVID-19 certificate or a screenshot of the NHI app test result, he said.
If Paxlovid is prescribed, a person can take the prescription to one of the 124 hospitals in Taiwan that offer the drug, Lo said.
Also from yesterday, people in three-day home isolation, four-day self-health management or seven-day home quarantine who test positive for COVID-19 using a rapid antigen test can have their results officially confirmed during a virtual consultation with a doctor.
Photo courtesy of Shinkong Wu Ho-su Memorial Hospital
Previously, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in a hospital was required to confirm the positive diagnosis.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said yesterday that the new policy applies to rapid test kits that use nasal swabs, as well as kits for saliva-based test that have been granted Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.
The policy does not apply to rapid test kits obtained overseas, as they are not approved by the government, he added.
Photo courtesy of CECC
Separately yesterday, the Department of Health and Welfare said the local COVID-19 outbreak had yet to peak and that serious cases and deaths were expected to rise as the virus spread widely. in the communities.
Centers for Disease Control Director General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), who also heads the CECC’s disease surveillance division, made the remarks during a weekly cabinet meeting yesterday.
From Thursday last week to Wednesday, national COVID-19 cases rose by 302,754, a significant increase from 124,403 cases in the previous seven days, Chou said.
Imported cases this week were down 51% from the previous week, from 921 cases to 454, he said.
Among the 421,703 domestic cases this year, 894 cases had moderate to severe symptoms, with 98 deaths, while 99.79 percent of cases reported mild or no symptoms, he said.
The ministry is focused on keeping the medical system running efficiently and reducing severe symptomatic cases and deaths.
Single-day COVID-19 cases in the country topped 60,000 for the first time yesterday, with 65,446 new cases and 17 deaths, the CECC said, adding that 61 were imported.
The 17 people who died from COVID-19 were between the ages of 60 and 90. Fifteen had underlying health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, stroke or cancer, the CECC data showed.
Six of the cases had not received a COVID-19 vaccine, while the others had received one or more doses, according to the data.
The CECC also said 61 people developed moderate symptoms and 18 developed severe symptoms.
New Taipei City yesterday reported the highest number of national cases – 23,788 – followed by Taipei with 10,751, Taoyuan with 10,039, Taichung with 3,830 and Kaohsiung with 3,261.
Tainan reported 2,332 cases, Keelung 1,876, Hsinchu County 1,348, Hualien County 1,259, Yilan County 1,186, Pingtung County 1,061, Changhua County 1,000, Hsinchu City 851, Miaoli County 760 , Yunlin County 613, Taitung County 392, Chiayi County 362, Nantou County 354 and Chiayi City 172.
Kinmen County has reported 78 cases, Penghu County 67 and Matsu Islands five.
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