Italian health authorities also authorize the use of the antiviral remdesivir for out-of-hospital patients.

The molnupiravir pill.

Italy has approved the use of antivirals molnupiravir and remdesivir in the treatment of patients with COVID-19 not hospitalized and with the mild to moderate disease of recent appearance, but with a high risk of worsening, reported today the Italian Drug Agency (AIFA).The decision of the AIFA Scientific Technical Commission, adopted on the 22nd, refers to patients “with concomitant clinical conditions that represent specific risk factors for developing severe COVID-19“Explains the organization in a statement that EFE collects.Molnupiravir, an oral antiviral authorized since November 2021 whose use is indicated in within 5 days of the onset of symptoms, with a treatment of 5 days duration, will be distributed by the Structure of the Commissioner of the Pandemic Emergency of the Regions as of January 4. For its prescription, the use of a monitoring record is foreseen that will be available online on the AIFA website, it is explained in the note.In the case of remdesivir, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recently approved an extension of indication for the treatment of patients at high risk of severe COVID-19 not subjected to oxygen therapy and can be used up to 7 days after the onset of symptoms, recalls the AIFA.“The duration of treatment, which consists of intravenous administration, is 3 days. Also for this new indication, the use of a follow-up record is planned ”, concludes the organization.Italy added another record of new infections since the beginning of the pandemic on Wednesday after accounting for 98,030 cases in the last 24 hours, while the number of deaths was 148. These figures raise the total data to 5.8 million infected since February 2020 and 137,091 deaths.

The WHO is optimistic about 2022

The omicron variant of the coronavirus is causing figures of daily infections that had not been seen in two years, close to the million global cases per day, although the World Health Organization (WHO) maintains the hope of ending the “acute phase” of the pandemic in the year that begins. ”I remain optimistic and I believe that 2022 may be the year in which we not only end the acute phase of the pandemic, but also build the path to better health security“, Highlighted today the director general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a press conference. From 22 to 26 December the barrier of the 900,000 daily cases of COVID-19, surpassing the previous record reached in April (894,000), while the omicron variant, more contagious than the delta, is becoming the dominant one in many countries. However, the number of global deaths remains in the current wave between 4,000 and 8,000 per dayFigures that have not increased with the emergence of the new variant and that are similar to those of the last three months.

South Africa breathes optimism

Another figure that invites some hope is the fact that last week the cases in South Africa, the country where the omicron variant was first detected, fell by around 30%, according to the data of the latest epidemiological report of the WHO. “We trust that the cases will fall in other countries as they have in South Africa,” said the director of Health Emergencies of the WHO, Mike Ryan, who also spoke He was optimistic for the next few months, provided that the race for a more equal distribution of vaccines continues. ”It is difficult for the virus to be completely eliminated, but it will possibly change to a lowest level transmission guideline, causing occasional outbreaks in unvaccinated populations ”, predicted the Irish expert. vaccine deliveryAlthough coronavirus cases have soared to record numbers in places like the United States or Western Europe, in many countries hospitalizations are not increasing at the same rate and health authorities debate whether shorten to about five days the quarantine period for mild or asymptomatic COVID positives.

Shorten insulation

A possibility that experts from the WHO considered plausible today, who pointed out that each country must act according to its epidemiological situation. “WHO recommends 14-day COVID-positive quarantines, although this period can be shortened in different situations “, underlined the WHO epidemiologist Abdi Mahamud.” The priority is contain transmission, but a balance must be found so that it does not affect especially societies and economies ”, he added. Ryan said early studies seem to indicate that the incubation period for COVID-19, which averages five to seven days, could go down with the omicron variant, which would also make it easier to shorten quarantines. WHO today warned that treatments with monoclonal antibodies, so far recommended in severe COVID-19 patients or at risk of hospitalization, are shown less effective to neutralize the omicron variant of the coronavirus In its new weekly epidemiological report, the WHO indicated that the other two treatments recommended by the body against the disease continue to be effective in critically ill patients, with corticosteroids and with interleukin 6 receptor antagonists.