A Ray of Hope in the Time of Coronavirus Disease COVID-19 Pandemic
Fight with COVID19 is
on and all efforts are being made for the containment of the coronavirus pandemic.
Various medications are being tried and tested in the hope of discovering the possible
cure for Corona Virus. ICMR and the Health Ministry have formed a special task
force and are constantly reviewing the situation.
We are also constantly hearing opinions of
experts on how to effectively contain coronavirus until a cure is available.
Recently, several countries requested for a particular drug from India named
‘Hydroxychloroquine or HCQ. It is an anti-malarial drug and is reported to be used
and tested by the various countries for the COVID19.
the time these drugs were requested by these countries, a tsunami of
misinformation and rumours has swept the News and Social Media.
Social media rumormongers are even
touting the ‘Hydroxychloroquine or HCQ’ vaccine as THE CURE FOR COVID19.
Dr.Purshotam Lal, a
renowned cardiologist and the chairman of Metro Group of Hospitals was recently
interviewed by a leading national news channel.
Dr. Lal has been honored with Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, and
prestigious Dr. B.C.Roy National Award. He was requested to clarify common misconceptions
and to provide an expert opinion on the Hydroxychloroquine or HCQ’ as the
possible Corona vaccine.
Dr.Purshotam Lal said
that ICMR and other concerned agencies have already issued the general guidelines
on how to protect yourself from contracting the COVID19. Dr. Lal added that Social distancing,
hygiene, using masks, sanitizing, etc. are the basics that are being emphasized
constantly by the News Media, and People should follow these guidelines
As per Dr. Lal, there
is a vulnerable group i.e elderly, people with co-morbidities such as
hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, respiratory problems, etc. They are
more susceptible to Coronavirus due to their low immunity. Apart from this
group, the health workers and other support groups on the frontline are also
particularly vulnerable. Family members of such workers are also at risk and
should be given special care. He advised that after consulting the doctors
these people can use the Hydroxychloroquine or HCQ as a preventive measure.
Dr. Purshotam Lal
further added, even though there is no conclusive evidence of the fact that
Hydroxychloroquine or HCQ can treat the coronavirus, It can be tried in small
doses. He pointed out that countries such as Japan and France have tried high
doses of Hydroxychloroquine on their elderly patients and it has shown its
effect in viral shedding.
Dr. Purshotam Lal
suggested that as it is controversial what doses can be given, initially after
consulting the doctors’ low doses can be given to patients with severe symptoms. If symptoms are mild Azithromycin can
be administered as an antibiotic. Combining the medicines should be avoided as
it can lead to side effects such as ECG problems, nausea, hypoglycemia, etc. He
advised that in starting 2 tablets of 2ml in the evening and 2 tablets in the morning
can be administered.
Dr. Lal concluded that
it will take time for conclusive evidence of the potency of medicine.
However, as we are in the midst of the pandemic, all possible solutions to the
problems should be probed. As per Dr.
Lal, Low dosage formula of medicines such as Hydroxychloroquine should be tried
for virus protection.
Even the National Task Force for COVID-19
constituted by ICMR has also advised the use of Hydroxychloroquine as
prophylaxis (Preventive) for the venerable group. Though they have added a further
advisory that the use of the vaccine should not instill a false sense of
security and they should take all the necessary protection as advised earlier.
ICMR is conducting its
research with Hydroxychloroquine and the AIIMS too was reported to be conducting studies on prophylactic
(Preventive) and therapeutic (Healing) impact of HCQ on COVID-19.
We are facing an
unforeseen pandemic and though we are hopeful, it will surely take time for a definitive
cure. So it is advised by Dr. Lal that we should work on strengthening our
immunity by practicing hygiene and adding antioxidants to our diet.
He prays for the
protection and well-being off all and hopes for the end of this nightmarish