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New Covid caseload spikes by nearly 60,400

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Ministry of Health today, February 23, confirmed 60,355 fresh Covid cases, with 17 of them imported and 60,338 locally infected in 62 cities and provinces, surging 4,467 cases over yesterday.

Among the latest domestic infections, Hanoi recorded the highest number at 7,419, followed by Bac Giang with 2,998, Hai Duong with 2,944 and Hoa Binh with 2,595. In addition, 2,505 cases were detected in Bac Ninh, 2,499 in Phu Tho, 2,203 in Nam Dinh and 2,013 in Vinh Phuc.

Seventeen other cities and provinces had more than 1,000 cases each.

Moreover, the Department of Health of Vinh Phuc Province today updated 21,771 cases detected earlier to the national Covid tally management system.

The new cases have sent the country’s Covid tally in the fourth wave to nearly 2.97 million, including over 2.3 million recoveries. Today alone, more than 15,600 Covid patients were announced to have recovered from the disease.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health confirmed 91 more Covid deaths. Hanoi, Binh Dinh, Hai Duong and Quang Nam recorded the most Covid deaths today.

In related news, Boston Vietnam Pharmaceutical JSC has produced some two million pills of Covid-19 antiviral drug Molnupiravir and is waiting for the Ministry of Health’s approval to launch its product.

Luong Dang Khoa, general director of Boston Vietnam, said the company could produce 30-60 million Molnupiravir pills per month. After the Ministry of Health licensed its Molnupiravir product on February 17, the company has stepped up the drug production.

It is not hard to buy materials for the drug production and the company will base on the market’s demand to work out a more specific production plan in the coming periods, Khoa added.

Boston Vietnam is one of three local pharmaceutical firms that received the emergency-use authorization from the Health Ministry on February 17 to manufacture and market the oral antiviral Molnupiravir, the first Covid-19 antiviral drug to be licensed in Vietnam. The other two firms are Mekophar Chemical Pharmaceutical JSC and Stellapharm Vietnam.

A representative of Stellapharm Vietnam said its factory could produce 100 million Molnupiravir pills per month.

Meanwhile, Mekophar Chemical Pharmaceutical JSC is waiting for the Ministry of Health’s guidelines on the pricing and distribution of Molnupiravir products.

Phan Thanh Uyen, marketing director at FPT Long Chau JSC, said the company had signed contracts with Boston and Stellapharm to distribute one million Molnupiravir pills.

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