Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                               Dated:26 April,2020

COVID-19: FDA warns against side effects of hydroxychloroquine

The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a safety communication regarding the known side effects of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, touted by President Donald Trump for treating coronavirus patients. The side effects include serious and potentially life-threatening heart rhythm problems.
The FDA in a Drug Safety Communication said that hydroxychloroquine has been given Emergency Use Authorisation for the treatment of patients who have tested positive with coronavirus. ....read more


CMAAO Coronavirus Facts and Myth Buster 71

(With regular inputs from Dr Monica Vasudev)
Epilepsy and COVID-19
People with epilepsy face the same health challenges as people who do not have the condition and are otherwise healthy. People with epilepsy should therefore exercise the same habits and preventative measures that healthy people follow, such as social distancing, avoiding contact with sick people, regular washing of hands, regular disinfection of surfaces, and avoiding touching hands, eyes, nose and mouth....read more


Why do we not touch papers, books and people with our feet?

In every traditional Gurukul, no studies start without chanting the following
Saraswati namasthubhyam
Varade kaama roopini
Sidhirbhavatu me sadaa....read more


Health Sutras By Dr K K Aggarwal

Every Corona is not fatal


Medbytes

       


Healthcare News Monitor

WHO to launch initiative to share COVID-19 drugs, tests and vaccines
Mint - Stephanie Nebehay

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it would announce a "landmark collaboration" on Friday to speed development of safe, effective drugs, tests and vaccines to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19. The Geneva-based agency, in a brief statement issued late on Thursday, said the initiative with partners aims to make technologies against the disease caused by the novel coronavirus "accessible to everyone who needs them, worldwide", but gave no details. The GAVI vaccine alliance, Gates Foundation and Global Fund are among traditional large donors to the UN agency, in addition to its 194 member states. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on April 6 that he planned to announce an initiative to accelerate the research, development and production of vaccines and also design mechanisms for equitable distribution. "WHO is committed to ensuring that as medicines and vaccines are developed they're shared equitably with all countries and people," Tedros said at the time. "While we're looking for vaccines, unless we break the barriers to equitable distribution of the products, whether it's vaccines or therapeutics, we will have a problem, so we need to address the problem ahead of time," he said.

'No good evidence': 1st Indian review warns against using hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19
The New Indian Express- Sumi Sukanya Dutta

The first review in India of all available data on the use of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for COVID 19, either for prevention or cure of the disease, has warned against using the medicine for the infectious disease. The Indian Council of Medical Research has recommended using HCQ in combination with antibiotic azithromycin for severely sick COVID-19 patients and alone for prophylaxis in healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients and high risk contacts of confirmed cases. But there has been little evidence so far that the medicine works for the infection even though several countries including the US have been using it to treat COVID-19 patients. The drug is also used for treating autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis but is not recommended in people with a history of cardiac issues. The study carried out by pharmacologists at the Lady Hardinge Medical College in New Delhi after reviewing 71 datasets from abroad -- including some meta analysis and randomized clinical trials -- concluded that while HCQ seems to be efficient in inhibiting SARSCoV-2, the pathogen behind COVID 19, in in-vitro cell lines, there is lack of strong evidence from human studies. “The in-vitro cell culture based data of viral inhibition does not suffice for the use of hydroxychloroquine in patients with COVID-19,” concluded the researchers. “Currently, the literature shows inadequate, low level evidence in human studies. Scarcity of safety and efficacy data warrants against the widespread use of HCQ in COVID-19 prophylaxis and treatment, until robust evidence becomes available,” they added.

Rajasthan reports 44 new Covid-19 cases, overall tally at 2,008
Hindustan Times

Rajasthan reported 44 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) positive cases till 2 pm on Friday, as the desert state’s overall tally rose to 2,008 cases. There were reports of four fresh Covid-19 related deaths in Jaipur, taking the total fatality count in the state to 31. Rohit Kumar Singh, additional chief secretary, health, Rajasthan government, said a 79-year-old man from Jamwa Ramgarh in Jaipur district died on Wednesday. He was admitted to Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital on April 13 for emergency surgery. His first swab sample tested Covid-19 negative, but a second sample that was taken on Thursday, a day after his death, tested positive. On Thursday, a 60-year-old man from Ramganj, who was suffering from coronary artery disease, also died. He was admitted to SMS Hospital on April 22, and tested Covid-19 positive the following day. Another 60-year-old man from Jaipur’s MD Road area was brought dead to SMS Hospital on April 22. He tested Covid-19 positive after his death on Thursday. One more death was reported from Jaipur’s Adarsh Nagar neighbourhood. A 70-year-old woman, who was admitted to SMS Hospital on April 18, tested Covid-19 positive on April 21 and died on Friday morning. She was also suffering from coronary artery disease, said Singh. Of the 44 new Covid-19 positive cases, 21 were reported from Jaipur, 18 from Kota, four from Jhalawar, and one from Bharatpur.

‘Sometimes we feel air moving inside PPE kit,’ say doctors treating COVID-19 patients at Amritsar hospital
The Indian Express- Kamaldeep Singh Brar

Probe has been launched into allegations of faulty and unfit Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits provided to the staff treating novel coronavirus patients at the Government Medical College in Amritsar. Amritsar MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla, who had in March dedicated Rs one crore to the medical college to fight the virus, has ordered a probe into the matter. Meanwhile, the College administration has issued notices to its employees for their public statements regarding the safety equipments, saying they were “hurting the image of the institution”. “PPE kits are not only unfit but also faulty. Wearing PPE kit is not enough. It is not any vaccine that will protect you after wearing it. It is a physical equipment and works only if it is fit on the body of medical worker. But sometimes we feel air moving inside PPE kit. It means PPE kit is not securing our body from virus,” said a doctor, not wanting to be named. He added, “Yesterday, a doctor was wearing PPE kit in the Coronavirus ward. It suddenly tore off while he was taking case of Coronavirus patients. Viruses may infect even if it’s exposed with the atmosphere for one second in the COVID-19 ward. But our doctor had to spend rest of the hours on duty with PPE kits that already had a leak. It is not an isolated incident. Material of PPE kits are not good. It is posing high risk to medical staff.”