Representative image.
Representative image.

Mixture of anti-HIV drugs may be used to treat nCoV patients in India

Priyanka Sharma | Updated: Feb 05, 2020 20:42 IST

By Priyanka Sharma
New Delhi [India], Feb 5 (ANI): In a significant move, the India Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has sought an emergency approval from Central Drug Control Organisation (CDCSO) to use combination of anti-HIV drugs- 'Lopinavir and Ritonavir' tablets for the treatment of novel coronavirus (nCoV) patients in India, sources said.
This is only for restrictive use in the interest of the public health emergency.
"This decision has been taken in the recent meetings over the preparedness action on novel coronavirus. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved to use the combination of 'Lopinavir and Ritonavir' tablets for the treatment of nCoV patients for restrictive use in the interest of the public health emergency," sources told ANI.
"As of now, there is no specific drug or vaccine to treat patients of coronavirus. Doctors across the globe are treating respiratory patients with supportive medication following the clinical guidelines of WHO," soured said.
According to the latest data by the Union Health Ministry, about 5123 people are under observation (community surveillance) across the country out of which 128 patients are hospitalised for suspected coronavirus infection.
So far in India, three medical students who returned to Kerala from China have confirmed positive for nCoV and all three patients are receiving treatment under quarantine in the state.
According to WHO, coronaviruses are large families of viruses, which cause illnesses to people and also circulate in animals including camels, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can also evolve and infect people. The epicentre of the disease is mainland china's Wuhan City, which has infected over 15000 people and claimed more than 450 lives so far in China.
Meanwhile, a randomised controlled clinical trial is now underway in China to test the anti-HIV drugs' efficacy, according to a study published in the Lancet Journal on January 24.
Last week, the Central government brought back about 600 Indian nationals (most of them are students) from China amid the outbreak of novel coronavirus. Approximately, 248 people are quarantined at Army's Manesar camp, out of which 6 persons are sent to Base Hospital for further observation after they showed flu-like symptoms. Meanwhile, 406 persons have been quarantined at ITBP's isolation facility and 5 persons have been shifted to Safdarjung Hospital for medical care.
Also, as a part of preventive measures to stop the spread of the disease, the Central government has suspended all visas for travel to China, which were issued earlier. (ANI)