London: Britain's health regulators have approved the world's first pill to treat cases of symptomatic COVID-19. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said, the antiviral Lagevrio (molnupiravir) has been found to be safe and effective at reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death in people with mild to moderate COVID-19, who are at increased risk of developing severe disease.

Molnupiravir, originally created to treat flu, could go on to be prescribed twice a day to vulnerable patients recently diagnosed with COVID-19 after it proved effective in clinical trials.

Molnupiravir has been authorised for use in people who have mild to moderate COVID-19 and at least one risk factor for developing severe illness. Such risk factors include obesity, old age over 60, diabetes mellitus, or heart disease.

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said, UK has become the first country in the world to approve an antiviral that can be taken at home for COVID-19. This will be a gamechanger for the most vulnerable and the immunosuppressed, who will soon be able to receive the ground-breaking treatment, he said. 

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