The Philippines on Sunday logged 29,828 new COVID-19 cases as a cheaper version of Merck's anti-COVID pill will soon be supplied to the country.
The day's tally brought active cases to 273,580 with a total of 36,763 new recoveries and 67 new deaths reported.
Overall, a total of 3,417,216 COVID-19 cases have been reported since the pandemic began in March 2020, of which 3,090,164 have recovered and 53,472 died.
The global Medicines Patent Pool signed agreements with 27 manufacturers to produce the oral antiviral medicine molnupiravir which will be supplied to 105 low- and-middle-income countries, including the Philippines.
Merck granted a license to the MPP which, in turn, issued sub-licenses to the generic drug makers. The sub-licenses allow manufacturers to produce the raw ingredients for molnupiravir.
Molnupiravir is used for mild to moderate cases of COVID-19, and was shown to reduce hospitalization for newly infected patients by 50%.
The Philippine Food and Drug Administration in December gave Molnarz, a brand of molnupiravir, an emergency use authorization, allowing for its wider use. --- with reports from Agence France Presse