The federal government has secured another 45,000 doses of a Covid-19 treatment in a major boost to the nation’s attempt to tackle escalating case numbers.
Health Minister Greg Hunt made the announcement on Monday, describing sotrovimab as one of the world’s leading treatments.
It is mainly used to treat people will mild to moderate cases of Covid-19.
“It has a 79 per cent effectiveness rate in reducing serious illness, hospitalisation and loss of life,” he told reporters on Monday.
“It’s not for everybody. It’s based on clinical advice, but it’s one of the reasons that we are seeing significantly lower ventilation rates.”
The news came after Victoria recorded its highest daily figure for Covid cases at 8577, while NSW recorded 20,794.
Meanwhile, earlier on Monday Prime Minister Scott Morrison has again ruled out making rapid antigen Covid tests free.
Mr Morrison said Australia was now at a stage of the pandemic where not everything could be made free.
“We already make them free to everyone who is required to have one,” Mr Morrison told Sunrise on Monday.
“They are also tax-deductible.
“We are now at this stage of the pandemic we just cannot make everything free because when someone tells you they will make something free, someone will always pay for it, and it is going to be you.”
Rapid antigen tests are only free if you’re a close contact or symptomatic or in aged care or state government health settings.
Mr Morrison, however, said plans are underway to finalise concessional arrangements for pensioners.
– additional reporting by Melissa Iaria