Goa has given the nod for the use of an anti-parasitic drug as preventive treatment for all adults against COVID-19. The drug, Ivermectin, has been disapproved of by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While it does not prevent infection, it reduces the severity of the illness, Goa Public Health Minister Vishwajit P Rane said today.
The treatment will be for those above 18 years of age, the minister said in a Facebook post.
“In this, patients will be treated with 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, time to recovery, and viral clearance in COVID-19 patients treated with Ivermectin,” Mr Rane said in his post.
“At the same time one should not have a false sense of security and complacency but strictly take all the precautionary measures and follow laid SOPs,” he said.
The tablet will be made available at all district, sub-district, public health care centres, and other facilities, so that people begin treatment immediately, irrespective of any symptoms or anything, the minister said.
Goa on Monday recorded 2,804 new cases of coronavirus, taking its overall figure to 1,21,650, while 50 more fatalities pushed the total number of Covid-related deaths in the state to 1,729, PTI reported.
Ivermectin is approved at very specific doses for some parasitic worms but is not an anti-viral, according to the US FDA which has said that when taken in large doses, it is dangerous and can cause serious harm.
“Ivermectin tablets are approved by the FDA to treat people with intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis, two conditions caused by parasitic worms. In addition, some topical (on the skin) forms of ivermectin are approved to treat external parasites like head lice and for skin conditions such as rosacea,” the FDA has said.