India

Change in Treatment Strategy: Goa to Use US-Disapproved Drug ‘Ivermectin’ to Treat COVID Patients

In recent days, India has lost thousands of its citizens to the deadly second wave of coronavirus in the country. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially classified the Indian mutation of COVID-19 as a “global concern”. First found in India, the contagious variant has been reported in 30 more nations.

To fight the pandemic, the government of Goa in India has decided to change its treatment strategy for COVID patients. While a majority of the country is running after the drug Remdesivir, Goa has decided to use another medicine called “Ivermectin”, the Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday.

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug used as a preventative treatment against COVID for everybody above 18. It was not approved by the US as a treatment for coronavirus.

A patient wearing an oxygen mask is wheeled inside a COVID-19 hospital for treatment, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad, India, April 21, 2021.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning in early April saying that Ivermectin, should not be used in the treatment of COVID. The FDA only approves Ivermectin to prevent heartworm disease along with internal and external parasites in some small animals. In humans, the FDA allows the use of Ivermectin tablets and formulations to treat some parasitic worms, external parasites, and skin conditions.

“People should not take any form of Ivermectin unless it has been prescribed to them by a licensed health care provider and is obtained through a legitimate source”, the FDA had said in a letter to stakeholders.

Medical experts from the UK, Italy, Spain, and Japan have, however, found a large and statistically significant reduction in mortality, recovery time, and viral clearance in COVID-19 patients treated with Ivermectin, Goa Public Health Minister Vishwajit P Rane wrote in a Facebook post, confirming the change in COVID strategy.

Infected patients will be treated with 12 mg of Ivermectin for a period of five days in Goa.

Goa is India’s smallest state and was thought have been “COVID-free” for some time.

The land of beaches, however, caught COVID again after Indians from other states began flocking the state for vacations and parties.

On 10 May, Goa recorded 2,804 new COVID cases, taking its overall figure to 121,650. The total number of fatalities recorded in the state due to COVID this year is 1,729.

 

 

 

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