Odisha issues SOP for use of antiviral drug Favipiravir by Covid-19 patients
Odisha government has issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) on the use of Favipiravir tablet by Covid-19 patients who are in home isolation. This comes as the state reported 3,000-odd news cases of infection on Saturday.
Additional chief secretary, health department, Pradipta Mohapatra said as around 80 percent of Odisha’s 30,000-odd Covid-19 patients have been allowed home isolation, trained doctors can prescribe Favipiravir after assessing the condition of patients with the latter’s written consent.
Favipiravir is an antiviral drug that was developed for the treatment of resistant influenza virus in Japan. In case of Covid-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms, the medicine has proved to be effective. It works by inhibiting RNA dependent RNA polymerase enzyme, a key enzyme blocking replication of RNA viruses.
The health secretary said Rapid Response Teams of the state government in various districts will be trained to assess the condition of patients in home isolation and, in consultation with doctors, will ascertain whether the patients need to be administered Favipiravir at home. Once the patient is found to be suitable for the administration of Favipiravir, the RRT will explain the patient and the family members about the dosage of the tablet, side effects, precautions, and actions to be taken. Under no circumstances can the patients go for self-medication.
Favipiravir is not recommended for children and pregnant women. Those above the age of 60 years have been advised to consult a doctor if they experience any side effects of the drug. In case of adverse reactions or worsening of general conditions, the RRT will consider moving the patient to the local Covid Care facility.
The Health and Family Welfare department has directed all district collectors, CDMOs and municipal commissioners to set up a dedicated helpline and telemedicine facility for early launching of the programme for online training, sensitisation of RRT teams, doctors on call.