The Union Health Ministry's Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has issued revised guidelines for the management of Covid patients, dropping ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and favipiravir - three widely-used drugs - from its list of approved treatment options. The guidelines, however, differ from those provided by the Health Ministry, which recommends both ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.
The new guidelines, which were issued on May 27, also do not mention taking steam inhalation and the use of vitamins for Covid treatment, which again contradicts the advisory on the Health Ministry website.
Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and favipiravir - used for asymptomatic and mild cases - were removed from DGHS guidelines after experts found they did not help patients infected with the coronavirus, according to officials.
Under the new DGHS guidelines, asymptomatic Covid patients (except those with comorbidities) have been advised against taking any medication.
Those with mild cases may take antipyretic (medication used to prevent, or reduce fevers) and antitussive (to relieve or suppress coughing) for symptomatic relief. Those with cough may inhale 800 mcg of budesonide (via metered-dose inhaler with space device) twice a day for five days.
"No other COVID-19-specific medication is required. The patient may have to be investigated further if symptoms persist or deteriorate," the guidelines said.
Remdesivir, an antiviral drug in great demand in India - is to be used only in select cases - specifically for hospitalised Covid patients with moderate or severe symptoms, and who were placed on oxygen support within ten days of the disease onset, the guidelines add.
On the use of tocilizumab - which is also in high demand - the DGHS said it should be used only for severely and critically ill patients.
The new guidelines also warn against the unnecessary use of high-resolution CT scans.
This morning India recorded 1.06 lakh cases, a drop of 12 per cent from yesterday's 1.14 lakh that was reported to be the lowest in two months. The country's caseload now stands at 2.89 crore.