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WHO findings on antiviral drugs likely to affect Kerala’s treatment protocol

 A WHO study on four repurposed antiviral drugs for Covid-19 will also have its effect in Kerala’s fight against the pandemic.

Published: 18th October 2020 03:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th October 2020 02:09 PM   |  A+A-

A vial of the investigational drug remdesivir is visually inspected at a Gilead Sciences manufacturing site in US

A vial of the investigational drug remdesivir is visually inspected at a Gilead Sciences manufacturing site in US. (File photo| AP)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A WHO study on four repurposed antiviral drugs for Covid-19 will also have its effect in Kerala’s fight against the pandemic.

The report released on Thursday stated that antiviral drugs-Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), Lopinavir and Interferon-Beta 1a-appeared to have little or no effect on hospitalised groups of Covid-19, including cases which are asymptomatic, mild, moderate, severe and critical.

The finding is based on the WHO’s Solidarity Trial, in which India was also a participant. According to the state health department, in light of the said findings, it will make adequate changes to its Covid-19 treatment protocol.

“The revised treatment protocol that the state released in August was based on the results and valuable insights available from the Adaptive Covid-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT), Randomised Evaluation of Covid-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) trial and others. But in the light of the studies that are coming out, adequate changes will be made,” said a senior health official.

At the same time, when asked about the WHO study, Dr Aravind R, head of infectious diseases department, Government Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, said that there will be a definite impact on the treatment protocol. 

Aravind, who is also a member of the state medical board for Covid-19, further added that the state will wait for the directions from the ICMR before taking any amends.

As per the study report, which has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in scientific journals, the main outcomes of mortality, initiation of ventilation and hospitalisation duration was not clearly reduced by any of the four antiviral drugs.

Earlier, a study report that appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) highlighted that HCQ is not an effective medicine for hospitalised patients with Covid-19.

The state in its treatment protocol had given prominence to antivirals and other therapeutic strategies like immune-modulators in the management of Covid-19. 

While Remdesivir, which has to be given intravenously, is recommended for patients with Covid-19 who are on supplemental oxygen, anti-malaria drug HCQ is for treating high-risk groups of people with Covid-19.

In the case of Lopinavir-Ritonavir, it is restricted to those patients who have mild pneumonia or severe pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome.



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