After the private labs being allowed to test for COVID-19, ICMR has also expedited the approvals to manufacture commercial testing kits.
Indian Council of Medical Research has recommended the usage of hydroxyl chloroquine as a preventive measure for high-risk population such as healthcare workers faced with the SARS-CoV-2 infection on Monday.
Affecting approximately 3,40,000 lives globally, corona-virus pandemic has already taken more than 15,000 lives. According to Union Health Ministry, India has reported 471 cases and 9 casualties.
In a collective press briefing, ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava told, “Only asymptomatic health care workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 and asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases should be allowed to use this. The protocol recommended by the National Task force has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India for restricted use in emergency situations.”
Prof. Bhargava added that this chemoprophylaxis should not install false sense of security among healthcare workers. “They should follow all prescribed public health measures such as frequent washing of hands, respiratory etiquettes, keeping a minimum distance and use of personal protective equipment (wherever applicable),” he confessed.
He further added that after the private labs being allowed to test for COVID-19, the council has expedited the approvals to manufacture commercial testing kits.