Finland state

Finland to ease restrictions, EU medicines regulator allows Pfizer Covid pill for high-risk patients | BEST POINTERS

In view of the drop in cases, Finland has decided to accelerate the easing of Covid curbs. Meanwhile, Pfizer’s Covid pill has received approval from the European medicines regulator for the treatment of high-risk patients.

Finland will start easing Covid-19 restrictions gradually from February 1 instead of mid-February as originally planned as the load on its hospitals eases, the government announced on Thursday.

Finland will start easing Covid-19 restrictions gradually from February 1 instead of mid-February as originally planned as the load on its hospitals eases, the government announced on Thursday.

THE BURDEN ON INTENSIVE CARE UNITS HAS TAKEN A TURN IN A BETTER DIRECTION

On January 18, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Finland would start easing restrictions from mid-February, but signs of stabilization in the rate of infection caused by the Omicron variant of the virus led the government to change his plan.

“The burden on intensive care units has taken a turn in a better direction,” Finland’s Health and Social Affairs Minister Hanna Sarkkinen told reporters.

The government has decided to begin the cautious easing by easing restrictions on restaurant opening hours until 9 p.m. from a mandatory 6 p.m. closing currently in place, Sarkkinen said.

He also recommended that local authorities authorize the reopening of cultural and sports venues such as gymnasiums, swimming pools and theaters from the beginning of February.

EU MEDICINES REGULATOR OKAY PFIZER COVID PILL FOR HIGH RISK PATIENTS

The European Union’s medicines regulator on Thursday gave the green light to Pfizer Inc’s Covid-19 antiviral pill for the treatment of adults at risk of serious illness, as the region scrambles to bolster its arsenal to combat the Omicron variant.

The European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) approval for conditional approval, if followed as usual by the European Commission, allows EU member states to roll out the drug after the regulator gives advice for its emergency use at the end of last year.

Italy, Germany and Belgium are among a handful of EU countries that have purchased the drug, under the Paxlovid brand. In December, the United States authorized Paxlovid and molnupiravir, a similar drug from Merck.

US HEALTH AGENCY HAS ‘PERSISTENT DEFICIENCIES’: WATCHDOG

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has “persistent deficiencies” in its ability to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies, the US Congressional watchdog warned in a report released Thursday, citing concerns raised by the Covid-19 pandemic.

HHS is at ‘high risk’ of mishandling a future crisis, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’s auditing agency, said, noting that the department has failed to implement some recommendations it made. previously to improve its response to the pandemic.

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