The Union health ministry has issued revised guidelines for management of Covid-infected patients, dropping many sought-after drugs like ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and anti-viral Favipiravir from Covid treatment.
The three drugs – that were widely used for asymptomatic and mild cases – were removed after experts found them not to be beneficial to patients infected with coronavirus, according to officials.
The guidelines, issued by the directorate general of health services (DGHS) of the health ministry, however, differ from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines, which recommend both ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, even though it has removed plasma from its treatment.
While asymptomatic patients have been advised against taking medication (except for those with comorbidities), those with mild cases have been advised to take antipyretic and anti-tussive for symptomatic relief, and inhalation of budesonide (given via metered-dose inhaler with space device) at a dose of 800 mcg twice a day for 5 days for a cough.
“No other Covid-19 specific medication is required. The patient may have to be investigated further if symptoms persist or deteriorate,” the guideline said.
The experimental drug remdesivir is to be used only in select moderate or severe hospitalised COVID-19 patients who are on oxygen within 10 days of disease onset, the guidelines state.
On the use of Tocilizumab – which is in high demand, the DGHS said the drug should be used only in severe and critically ill patients.
The new guideline also warns against the unnecessary use of high-resolution CT scans.
This morning India recorded 1.06 lakh cases, a drop of 12% from yesterday’s 1.14 lakh infections that were reported to be the lowest in two months. The country’s caseload now stands at 2.89 crore.