The Big Story: New antiviral pill a 'game-changer' in treatment of Covid-19, says expert

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SINGAPORE - Catch up on the hottest topics on The Big Story, The Straits Times' weekday online news programme.

Singapore has inked a supply and purchase agreement for an antiviral pill to treat Covid-19 that is said to be effective against all known variants of the virus, including the Delta variant.

The drug, molnupiravir, was developed by pharmaceutical firm Merck in the United States and Canada, together with Miami-based Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Merck is known as MSD elsewhere in the world.

The drug will be available here once it has received authorisation and approval for use, said MSD in an announcement on Wednesday (Oct 6).

Dr Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious diseases specialist from the Rophi Clinic at Mount Elizabeth Novena, shares more about antiviral drug treatments. He also explains the difference between this new drug and existing Covid-19 treatments.

Meanwhile, Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his wife Mrs Lee Suet Fern have sold a two-storey bungalow in the Caldecott Hill good class bungalow (GCB) area for $13 million, and put another nearby bungalow on the market for $16.8 million.

The adjoining freehold properties are located in Caldecott Close, near the old premises of Mediacorp.

Looking overseas, in spite of borders remaining shut to most non-residents, life in Hong Kong has largely returned to normal, with students attending lessons in schools, the office crowd going about their daily routine and hospitals coping with patient load.

The city state has so far recorded more than 12,300 Covid-19 cases and 213 deaths. But there have been no locally transmitted cases in the territory of 7.4 million for almost two months.

Hong Kong correspondent Claire Huang shares the latest on the Covid-19 situation there.

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