Do not give Molnupiravir & Monoclonal antibody to Covid patients: Health Dept

Kolkata: The state Health department on Tuesday issued revised Covid protocols to both the government and private hospitals urging them not to administer the anti-viral drug, Molunupiravir and also Monoclonal antibody on Covid patients.

The new protocols also suggest that no steroids can be applied on Covid-infected patients who are in home isolation even if they show mild symptoms. A special type of inhaler can be prescribed for those Covid patients who complain about a cough. The Health department, however, awaits specific guidelines from the Centre in this regard.

"We have withdrawn Molnupiravir and Monoclonal antibody in the new protocols as the Government of India has not so far given any directive in this regard. We have to wait for their guidelines. We will withhold these drugs till the national guidelines give a clear direction," said Director of Health Services Dr Ajay Chakraborty.

As per the new protocols, all asymptomatic patients and those with mild symptoms with no sign of respiratory distress can be treated at home isolation or in safe homes with supportive management. Antihistamine can be applied to such patients if required. Wearing masks, maintaining hand hygiene and physical distancing must be followed in safe homes and home isolation. Inhaler Budesonide 800 mcg can be administered to patients twice daily if they complain about cough for more than five days.

Those who have difficulty in breathing, persistent fever or high fever or recurrent fever, severe cough and palpitations must be admitted to the hospitals.

Incidentally, the state Health department last Friday had directed all private hospitals to increase beds, stock medicines and oxygen on an emergency basis as the next one month may be a crucial time for the health establishments in the wake of a whopping spike in daily Covid cases in Bengal. The order stated that at least 50 per cent of the institutional quarantine facilities that existed during the second wave of Covid should be made operational.

Both the government and private hospitals have been asked to review the arrangements and facilities for the treatment Covid patients if the situation demands so.

Meanwhile, renowned city doctors Dr Abhijit Chowdhury and Dr Kunal Sarkar during a press conference at SSKM Hospital urged people to follow Covid protocols to prevent the infection from going beyond control. "People should be more aware and abide by the protocols otherwise the infection cannot be checked. People should wear masks, maintain physical distance. If protocols are not followed, the infection rate will further go up," they said.

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