Coronavirus Pandemic

India: Some states ignore warnings on use of anti-parasitic drug

Web report/Mumbai
Filed on May 14, 2021

Officials claim that expert panel in Europe found that ivermectin reduced recovery time and risk of death from Covid.

While the WHO and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have warned against the use of ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug for Covid-19 infections, two Indian states, Goa and Uttarakhand, continue to do so.

Officials in both the states claim that an expert panel in Europe had found the drug reduced the recovery time and risk of death.

Vishwajit Rane, Goa’s health minister, had earlier announced that the government would administer the oral drug for five days to all adults above 18 as a deterrent against Covid-19. Besides WHO, Merck, the company that also manufactures the drug, has also denied that the drug is used for Covid-19.

Uttarakhand’s chief secretary Om Prakash told a news agency that an expert medical panel has recommended use of the drug for tackling Covid-19. He said the government was awaiting additional supplies for distribution to the people in the state.

Incidentally, both the states are believed to have been influenced by a recent article in the American Journal of Therapeutics. However, the WHO has challenged the findings published by the journal.

Goa is among the dozen states in India that had more than 100,000 active cases of Covid on Thursday. It also has the highest positivity rate in India at 48.1 per cent.

Uttarakhand has also been facing a crisis after last month’s Kumbh Mela at Haridwar. The state recorded about 7,750 fresh Covid cases and 109 deaths on Wednesday.

Surprisingly, despite serious objections from the WHO, the Indian Council of Medical Research has also recommended that doctors could use ivermectin for mild Covid-19 patients. However, it warned that this was based on low certainty of evidence.

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