Mumbai: Hydroxychloroquine to be given to the people living in slums to control the spread of Covid 19

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Mumbai: Hydroxychloroquine to be given to the people living in slums to control the spread of Covid 19

Can we be hopeful?

Thursday, 30th April 2020

Officials stated on Wednesday that the plan of giving hydroxychloroquine to the infected patients in Mumbai’s slums in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection has been on a hold for now. Mumbai health officials said they would stick to federal Indian guidelines.


Hydroxychloroquine may be used as a precaution among health care workers and others who are in close contact with coronavirus infected patients.


Mumbai has more than 3,000 confirmed cases, and with its high population density, especially in slums like Dharavi, social distancing is highly unachievable. Thus, the state government had declared that clinical trials would be done on slum residents to test if the drug is efficient in fighting Covid-19.


Taking into account the ethical factors and the drug’s side effects, Dr. Daksha Shah, deputy executive health officer of Mumbai, declared that the guidelines set by top medical research body would be followed by the officials.
Patients with heart issues, blood diseases and diabetes will not be given this drug, said the state government. It added that only with patient’s consent, the drug will be administered and the side effects observed must be informed to the authorities.  


India’s National Task Force stated that the drug will used based on “risk-benefit considerations, under exceptional circumstances” and was “derived from available evidence of benefit as treatment and supported by preclinical data” on March 22nd.
Health workers and police in Mumbai, after the statement was issued, started using the drug.

However, there has been no evidence of its efficacy in treating coronavirus infection as of now.

“If there is no evidence ... why are scientific bodies pushing this drug and giving the impression to the public that there is a magic bullet, and this is your last hope”, questioned Dr. Shriprakash Kalantri, an epidemiologist.



Source: Economic times

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