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COVID: Mistakes Of 2021 Being Repeated, Doctors Warn Govt. Urge To End ‘Irrational’ Medication

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New Delhi: In a letter addressed to Union as well as state governments, as many as 32 prominent doctors from India and abroad have warned about “inappropriate” diagnostic methods and medications being used to deal with the current wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The doctors, in the letter, cautioned that “wanton use of drugs” can be harmful, as seen during the earlier two waves of the pandemic, news agency PTI reported.

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“Despite the weight of available evidence and the crushing death toll of the delta wave, we find the mistakes of the 2021 response being repeated in 2022 during the clinical management of COVID-19. We urge you to intervene to stop the use of medications and diagnostics that are inappropriate for clinical management of COVID-19,” the letter read.

It added that the “vast majority of patients” who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms will require little or no medication.

“Most prescriptions we have reviewed in the past two weeks include several COVID-19 kits and cocktails. The prescribing of vitamin combinations, azithromycin, doxycycline, hydroxychloroquine, favipiravir, and ivermectin for treating COVID-19 is irrational practice,” the doctors stressed.

It was pointed out that outbreaks of fungal infections like mucormycosis in India and aspergillosis in Brazil were attributed to the widespread abuse of inappropriate medications.

According to the doctors, most COVID-19 patients will need no additional tests after the initial positive rapid antigen or PCR test, except, in some cases, home monitoring of oxygen levels.

The Omicron variant can infect even those who had contracted the infection earlier or who are vaccinated, but the “mortality” will be lower among these patients, they stated.

However, CT scans and a battery of laboratory tests like d-dimer and IL-6 are routinely being prescribed by practitioners across the country in asymptomatic and mild cases, placing undue financial burden on families, the experts mentioned.

They stressed how patients are being admitted to hospitals “without clinical justification,” which adds to such burden and also leads to non-COVID patients not getting hospital beds in emergency.

The doctors have urged the government, as well as medical associations, to put an end to such practices.

The signatories to the letter included Dr Sanjay Nagral of Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai; Dr Cyriac Abby Phillips, the Liver Institute, Rajagiri Hospital, Kerala; Dr Rajani Bhat, Bengaluru; Dr Bharat Gopal, Delhi, and Dr Richa Gupta, Christian Medical College, Vellore.

The group also includes some Indian-origin doctors living in the US and Canada.

This comes as Coronavirus cases have been surging across the country along with the rise in Omicron infections.

On home isolation of COVID patients, the Union Health Ministry on Friday stated that the home isolation will be over after seven days pass from testing positive without getting a fever for three successive days, after which, no re-testing is required.

Asymptomatic contacts need not take a COVID test, it informed, as reported by news agency ANI.

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