Covid-19: All adults in Goa to be given Ivermectin drug; WHO warns against it
All adults in Goa will be given Ivermectin, irrespective of their vaccination status, to prevent complications arising out of Covid-19 infection. Ivermectin is a drug used to treat many types of parasite infestations, and it does not prevent Covid-19, but can help reduce the severity, said state health minister Vishwajit Rane.
“I have given instructions for immediate implementation of prophylaxis (action taken to prevent disease) treatment,” Rane said.
“People will be given Ivermectin 12mg for a period of five days. Expert panels from the UK, Italy, Spain and Japan, found a large, statistically significant reduction in mortality, recovery time, and viral clearance in Covid-19 patients treated with Ivermectin,” Rane said on Monday.
“The tablet will be made available at all the district, sub-district, PHCs (primary health centres), CHCs (Community Health Centres), Sub Health Centers, RMDs (Rural Medical Dispensaries) as well as GMC (Goa Medical College and Hospital). People can collect the medicine and start taking it immediately, irrespective of symptoms,” he said.
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“However, this should not give one a false sense of security and complacency and they should continue to take all the precautionary measures and follow laid down SOPs,” Rane said.
Goa on Monday recorded 2,804 new cases of coronavirus, taking its tally to 121,650, while 50 more fatalities pushed the toll to 1,729, a health official said.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization on Tuesday recommended against the general use of ‘ivermectin’ for treatment of Covid-19 patients.
“Safety and efficacy are important when using any drug for a new indication. WHO recommends against use of ‘ivermectin’ for COVID-19 except within clinical trials,” Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist, tweeted.
A similar warning has also been issued by German healthcare and life sciences giant Merck, whose statement Dr Swaminathan attached to her tweet. Merck said its scientists continue to “carefully examine findings of all available and emerging studies of ‘ivermectin’ for treatment of COVID-19”.
“We do not believe the data available support the safety and efficacy of ‘ivermectin’ beyond the doses and populations indicated in the regulatory agency-approved prescribing information,” Merck said.
(With agency inputs)