COVID-19 cases: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issued new guidelines for the use of antibiotics amid increasing cases of H3N2 flu and rise in COVID-19 infection.
ICMR in its guidelines, issued on Sunday stated that antibiotics should not be used in Covid cases unless there is clinical suspicion of bacterial infection for the treatment of adult coronavirus patients issued by the Centre.
"Antibiotics should not be used unless there is clinical suspicion of bacterial infection. The possibility of coinfection of COVID-19 with other endemic infections must be considered. Systemic corticosteroids are not indicated in mild disease," the guidelines read.
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The revised guidelines further stated that drugs such as Lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, Molnupiravir, Favipiravir, Azithromycin and Doxycycline should not be used for the treatment of adult COVID-19 patients.
Notably, the AIIMS/ICMR-COVID-19 National Task Force held a meeting on January 5 to revise the clinical guidance protocol. It has also advised doctors not to use convalescent plasma therapy.
However, in moderate or severe diseases at high risk of progression, Remdesivir may be considered for up to five days.
It should be started within 10 days of onset of symptoms in those having moderate to severe disease with a high risk of progression (requiring supplemental oxygen) but who are not on IMV or ECMO.
There is no evidence of benefit for the treatment of more than five days and is not to be used in patients who are not on oxygen support or in home setting, the guidelines stated.
Additionally in rapidly progressing moderate or severe disease, Tocilizumab should be considered preferably within 24-48 hours of the onset of severe disease/ICU admission.
It also advised people to maintain physical distancing, use masks indoors and to follow hand hygiene.
"Symptomatic management (hydration, anti-pyretics, antitussive) Monitor temperature and oxygen saturation (by applying a SpO probe to fingers) Stay in contact with treating physician. Seek immediate medical attention if difficulty breathing, High-grade fever/ severe cough, particularly if lasting for more than 5 days. A low threshold is to be kept for those with any of the high-risk features," guidelines read.
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India saw a single-day rise of over 1,000 fresh COVID-19 cases after 129 days today (March 19), while the active cases increased to 5,915, according to the Union health ministry data.
A total of 1,071 fresh cases were reported in the county in a span of 24 hours, while the death toll increased to 5,30,802 with three latest fatalities- one each reported in Rajasthan and Maharashtra and one reconciled in Kerala. According to the ministry data, the infection tally stands at 4.46 crore (4,46,95,420).
The active cases now comprise 0.01 per cent of the total cases, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has been recorded at 98.8 per cent.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 4,41,58,703, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.19 per cent, the data said.
(with inputs from agencies)