HCQ beneficial, won’t stop using it: ICMR

HCQ beneficial, won’t stop using it: ICMR

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 26

A day after the WHO suspended solidarity trial on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for Covid-19 treatment amid safety concerns, India said it would continue using the anti-malarial medicine for prevention of the disease.

Punjab, Haryana, Kerala may have crossed peak

Bengaluru: Punjab, Haryana and Kerala seem to have crossed the peak in coronavirus cases, says Prof GVS Murthy, Director, Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad. He expects India to keep Covid-19 deaths at less than 8,000 with strict curbs

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) chief Balram Bhargava today said studies on HCQ use for prophylaxis (prevention) among Covid warriors had shown the drug may be working.

“There are no major side-effects, though people have reported nausea, vomiting and occasional palpitations. One ECG during the regimen is mandatory,” said Bhargava as India’s disease graph continued to soar with record rise of 7,035 cases over the past 24 hours.

The ICMR Director General said several biological plausibility and in-vitro studies in the past had pointed to anti-viral properties in HCQ and chloroquine, both anti-malarial drugs.

Meanwhile, the government said lockdowns had ensured recovery rate improved from 7.1 per cent in March to 41.61 per cent today and fatality rate fell from 3.3 per cent to 2.8 per cent.

Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said among the 10 most Covid-affected nations, deaths per million in India were 3.08 against 800 in Belgium.

“Cases per lakh people in India are 10.7 against 69.9 globally and 486 in the US. The global death rate average is 6.4 per cent against 2.8 per cent in India, 19.9 in France, 16.3 in Belgium and 14.3 per cent in Italy. We have a relatively flat curve without sharp spikes noticed,” said Agarwal.

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