Wayne Walker reports.

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The Pharmaceutical Society of Jamaica, PSJ, says there is an increase in the demand for the drug, Remdesivir, that is used to treat COVID-19 patients who require oxygen.

President of the, PSJ, Dr Ernestine Watson, says an increase in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations requires an equal level of supply of the drug in Jamaica at this time.

Dr. Watson notes that more persons are visiting their local pharmacies to request Remdesivir to assist with respiratory challenges.

However, she says there’s a procedure that patients have to follow before they can access the drug.

However, she says there’s a procedure that patients have to follow before they can access the drug.

Jamaica has confirmed 97 new COVID-19 cases in the latest round published test results, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 7-thousand-900 and 10.

According to the Health Ministry, 1-hundred and 55 people are currently hospitalized.

It says 24 people are moderately ill and 21 are critically ill.

Dr. Watson says doctors have to get approval from the Health Ministry before pharmacies can dispense the drug to patients.

She says a number of patients are contacting several pharmacies for the drug.

With the increase in demand for Remdesivir, Dr. Watson is urging the government to increase the availability of the drug in Jamaica.

The Pharmaceutical Society President says this will reduce the wait time of patients who need the medication.

Dr Watson says there are three main drugs being used by the Health Ministry to treat COVID-19 patients in Jamaica.

She says doctors decide which drug is best suited for patients, depending on the severity of their symptoms.

Dr Ernestine Watson, President of the PSJ.