The Union health ministry’s directorate general of health services (DGHS) has revised the Covid management guidelines dropping all medicines, except antipyretic and antitussive, for asymptomatic and mild cases.
This decision comes at a time when India is witnessing a significant dip in its Covid-19 tally. The revised guidelines, issued on May 27 have dropped all drugs including hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, doxycycline, zinc, multivitamins, etc prescribed by the doctors to asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic Covid-19 patients retaining only antipyretic for fever and antitussive for cold symptoms.
The guidelines have also discouraged medical practitioners to prescribe unnecessary tests to the affected victims such as CT scans.
Stressing on the importance of abiding by Covid-19 appropriate behavior such as mask, strict hand hygiene, and physical distancing, the guidelines advised people who experience Covid symptoms to seek teleconsultations and to consume a healthy balanced diet with proper hydration.
The patients and their families were also asked to stay connected and engage in positive talks through phone, video-calls, etc.
In cases concerning the asymptomatic cases, the guidelines said that no medication is required except for those with comorbidities who need to continue taking their prescribed medicines.
While in mild cases, the guidelines recommended self-monitoring for fever, breathlessness, oxygen saturation (SpO2), or worsening of any symptoms.
It also suggested that people may take antipyretic and anti-tussive for symptomatic relief, and inhalation of budesonide (given via metered-dose inhaler with space device) at a dose of 800 mcg twice a day for 5 days for a cough.
‘No other Covid-19 specific medication is required. The patient may have to be investigated further if symptoms persist or deteriorate,’ the guideline said.
Earlier, the much-debated drug Ivermectin was also dropped off the list as a Covid prescribed medicine. In March too, the WHO noted that “the current evidence on the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 patients is inconclusive”. Ivermectin, it said, was a broad spectrum anti-parasitic agent included in WHO essential medicines list for several parasitic diseases.
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 now stands at 2.88 crore, while total fatalities are at 3.46 lakh.