South Korea on Thursday received its first supply of Pfizer’s antiviral COVID-19 pills to treat patients with mild or moderate symptoms.
Health officials have described the Paxlovid pills as a potentially important tool to suppress hospitalizations and deaths, as the country braces for another possible surge in infections driven by the contagious omicron variant.
South Korea’s initial supply is enough to support the required five-day treatment courses for 21,000 people.
Officials say another batch of pills, enough to provide the required five-day courses for 10,000 people, will come by the end of January.
Workers were seen unloading containers of the pills from a plane at Incheon International Airport.
The pills will be moved to a pharmaceutical warehouse in central South Korea before being administered to patients nationwide starting Friday.
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