Brits will soon be receiving a pill to treat the coronavirus at home as soon as autumn of this year in a bid to contain small outbreaks should they occur as a third wave takes over parts of Europe.
At home treatment for all
The antivirals task force set up by No10m was commissioned by PM Boris Johnson as a way to alleviate pressure to hospitals. Johnson says the UK 'must learn to live with this disease, as we live with other diseases.'
The government is currently working with pharmaceutical companies as well as university scientists to come up with an antiviral treatment that could treat patients form the comfort of their own homes. Sir Patrick Vallance, Britain's chief scientific adviser explained:
Antivirals in tablet form are another key tool for the response. They could help protect those not protected by or ineligible for vaccines. They could also be another layer of defence in the face of new variants of concern.
A necessary secondary defence
Johnson explains that finding a drug effective enough to treat mild COVID symptoms could provide yet another layer of defence against future and more menacing mutations of the virus, such as the Indian variant that has been found to be exponentially more transmissible.
According to the PM, mutations make it harder for the vaccine's shield to be effective so finding a quick fix might be a better solution to contain breakouts. During a Downing press conference, he said:
This means, for example, that if you test positive there might be a tablet you could take at home to stop the virus in its tracks and significantly reduce the chance of infection turning into more severe disease.
Or if you're living with someone who has tested positive, there might be a pill you could take for a few days to stop you getting the disease yourself