New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Union Health Ministry has dropped the use of ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and the anti-viral favipiravir from its COVID-19 treatment guidelines. This decision was taken after a section of doctors and medical researchers questioned the absence of any scientific evidence to prove the benefits of such drugs on COVID-19 patients.

In its 9-page guidelines for the management of COVID-19 patients, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) did not mention ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and favipiravir — three widely prescribed medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 across the country.

Other medicines such as zinc, multivitamins, etc prescribed by the doctors to asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients have also been dropped except antipyretic for fever and antitussive for cold symptoms.

The revised guidelines issued on May 27 also discourage medical practitioners to prescribe indiscriminate use of high-resolution CT scans, which is to be done in only worsening conditions.

Further, DGHS’s COVID-19 guidelines stressed the importance of wearing masks, maintaining hand hygiene, and physical distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak. People who experience Covid symptoms may seek teleconsultation as per the new guidelines. Consuming a healthy balanced diet with proper hydration is also advised by the DGHS.

In cases concerning asymptomatic patients, the guidelines said no medication is required except for those who suffer from comorbidities. For mild cases, the guidelines recommend self-monitoring for fever, breathlessness, oxygen saturation, or worsening of any symptoms.

Earlier in March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) also noted that “the current evidence on the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 patients is inconclusive”. However, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines released on May 17 recommend the use of both ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

Meanwhile, India added 1.14 lakh new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours while deaths from COVID-19 rose by 2,667. The country’s overall caseload currently stands at 2.88 crore and total fatalities are 3.46 lakh.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha