The Australian government has increased its supply of a potentially life-saving COVID-19 treatment as the country continues to battle the third wave of infections.
Greg Hunt, the Minister for Health, announced on Monday that the government increased its orders of sotrovimab for the National Medical Stockpile from 7,700 doses to more than 31,000.
The sotrovimab treatment requires a single dose to be administered through an intravenous (IV) infusion in a health care facility and has been shown to reduce hospitaliSation or death by 79 per cent in adults with mild to moderate COVID-19, who are at risk of developing severe COVID-19, according to the media release.
Hunt said medical experts estimate that between eight and 15 per cent of Australian adults with COVID-19 will be recommended for treatment with sotrovimab, and this treatment must be given within five days of symptoms onset.
It is a novel monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 that has been approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
Hunt said that it has the potential to protect Australians from developing serious diseases, and reduce hospitalizations and deaths in people who are at high risk from COVID-19.
On Monday morning, Australia reported more than 2,000 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths.
New South Wales (NSW), Australia's most populous state with Sydney as the capital city, registered 623 new local cases and six deaths.
Victoria, the second-most populous state with Melbourne as the capital city, reported a further 1,377 new local cases and four deaths.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) recorded 28 new cases and two more deaths.
According to the latest data released by the Department of Health, 79.4 per cent of Australians aged 16 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 56.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.