ICMR's National Task Force Removes Usage Of Ivermectin & HCQ Drugs From COVID Guidelines
In a recent development, the COVID-19 National Task Force has dropped Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) drugs from its revised "clinical guidelines for management of adult COVID-19 patients". The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had earlier mentioned the two drugs as part of the COVID relief guidelines. Both the drugs have now been dropped after they failed any promising result in the process.
The ICMR has now confirmed the dropping of Ivermectin and HCQ as potential drugs for COVID-19. The drugs were dopped after the research body couldn't find any evidence of Ivermectin or HCQ being therapeutic against the virus. Earlier, a clinical guidance note dated May 19, 2021, made jointly by AIIMS, ICMR NTF and Joint Monitoring Group was put to review on August 20 over the same. The guidance note was studied in the context of newly found evidence of the medicine's effects.
Earlier in May, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) had issued guidelines against the use of Ivermectin and HCQ. The expert council had named the two drugs along with a number of other medicines that were directed to be avoided in the treatment of COVID-19. These guidelines were lauded by the WHO back then. However, the guidelines weren't promoted by the ICMR due to differences of opinion among experts regarding the same. The WHO had earlier warned against the use of the 'animal drug' Ivermectin.
What is the 'deworming drug' Ivermectin?
Ivermectin was noted as a horse dewormer by some media, while the drug is also used to treat some conditions in humans. The drug in question is on the WHO's list of essential medicines. Earlier in 2015, two scientists had won a Nobel Prize for discovering the drug. However, some people have been taking highly concentrated versions of Ivermectin that are intended to treat parasites in horses and cows to treat COVID-19 despite having no evidence of its effectiveness. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently warned against the use of the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin to treat patients of coronavirus. The FDA in its statement had said that "humans are not cows and need to stop taking the drug."
India's COVID-19 vaccination drive
As of Thursday, India has administered a total of 83,34,67,089 COVID vaccine doses across 56,082 vaccination sites. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced on September 21 that states and union territories have received over 80.13 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses, with more than 4.52 crore balance and unused doses still available. In a major milestone achievement, India administered over 2.5 crore vaccine doses against Coronavirus on September 17.
While on September 16, the Ministry informed that India has exceeded the average daily COVID-19 vaccination rate of the world's 18 major countries. The world's 18 major countries have administered 81,70,000 (8.17 million) doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. India has administered 85,40,000 (8.54 million) doses. Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Russia are among the nations on this list.
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