The Indian health ministry has recommended anti-viral drug remdesivir, under emergency use authorisation, to treat Covid-19 patients who are in moderate stage of the illness.
The country emerged as the fourth worst hit with 3.2 lakh cases of coronavirus infections.
The drug should be administered early to achieve meaningful results but use should be avoided in patients in severe state, the ministry said in its revised Clinical Management Protocols for Covid-19 released on Saturday.
The state government of Maharashtra, which plans to procure 13,000 vials of remdesivir from Bangladesh, will start clinical trials soon.
The state’s coronavirus task force — comprising doctors who look into clinical management and reports to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray — had suggested its use to save lives.
“The drug will be provided to 18 medical colleges and the government is acquiring it from a Bangladeshi firm since Indian companies are not making it,” the Hindustan Times reported on Friday.
“According to World Health Organization (WHO), this medicine can give us success against Covid-19,” Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope tweeted.
With 1,04,568 coronavirus cases and 3,830 deaths, Maharashtra remains the worst hit in India.
India also recorded the highest single-day spike — 11,929 novel coronavirus cases yesterday. And the death toll crossed the 9,195 mark, according to data provided by the India Health Ministry yesterday.
Amid the continued increase of Covid-19 cases across India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to hold a virtual meeting with chief ministers of different states on either July 16 or 17 to discuss ways to contain the spread.
Sources have said Modi is also expected to discuss lockdown issues with the CMs.
In another development, Union Home Minister Amit Shah today held a meeting on the Covid-19 situation in Delhi. It is the third worst-hit state after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu and has registered 38,959 cases so far. It recorded more than 2,134 cases today.
Delhi’s Health minister Harsh Vardhan, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and officials of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) were present in the meeting, NDTV reported today.
The meeting also decided to increase tests threefold in Delhi within six days.