Our top story this afternoon, South Korea on Thursday will take delivery of its first batch of COVID-19 oral treatment pills.
Health authorities have just announced the detailed guidelines as to how and when these pills will be used.
For more on this, we have our Choi Min-jung on the line.
Min-jung, give us more details.
Mok-yeon, health authorities have just revealed the details of how Pfizer's oral treatment, Paxlovid, will be used in the country.
The government has secured enough oral treatments for more than 1 million people, of which 760-thousand will be Pfizer's.
The first shipment, enough to cover 21-thousand people, will arrive at Incheon Airport at noon on Thursday.
This is part of the 31-thousand sets of pills that will arrive in the country in January.
And the pills will be distributed for use nationwide as early as this Friday.
The treatment will be delivered to 91 residential treatment centers as well as some 280 pharmacies.
Authorities say those in local governments, medical institutions and pharmacies have already been educated with the necessary information.
And they have also been rehearsing the administration process in advance since this morning.
Min-jung, we're only receiving 20-thousand sets of pills at the moment, which is not enough to cover all patients. Who will be receiving the treatment first?
Those first in line to receive the medicine are people being treated at home and at residential treatment centers.
Among these patients, priority will be given to seniors aged 65 and over, and those with weak immune systems.
And this is mainly because they are at higher risk of becoming severely ill.
In order for the treatment to work, patients must take three pills, two times a day, within the first five days after they report any symptoms.
Because of this short time period, officials have vowed to provide prompt prescriptions even during the night and on holidays, some through non-contact methods.
The prescribed medicine can also be picked up by somebody else on a patient's behalf from the pharmacy or delivered to their home.
The pills are not recommended for those with critical illnesses or underlying health issues.
Nor are they recommended for patients who are asymptomatic and children below the age of 12.
That's all I have for now.
Back to you, Mok-yeon.