Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for all the states to emulate the 'Dhanvantri Rath', first introduced in Ahmedabad in fight against Covid-19 and then spread to other important Gujarat cities reporting high rate of infection, as the mobile hospitals having doctors, paramedical staff and pharmacists to provide the door-to-door service.
He pointed out in the review of the Covid-19 situation in the country, attended among others by Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and senior officials, that these mobile hospitals proved effective in surveillance and home-based care by reaching out to the people who were afraid to visit the hospitals for fear of getting infected with the virus by the patients in the hospitals, that had been declared Covid-19 hospitals.
Any person suspected to have contracted the coronavirus can approach these mobile hospitals and consult the doctors stationed on them. These mobile vans check the temperature and also the oxygen levels of the person and take diabetes test if the person is 40 plus. Necessary medicines are also dispensed on the spot and every suspect patient is also compulsorily given Ayurvedic and Homoeopathic medicines to increase their immunity.
A PMO press note says the Prime Minister directed a continuous real-time national level monitoring and guidance provided to all affected states and places having high rate of people testing positive. He also laid stress on reiterating the need to observe personal hygiene and social distance in public places.
He said there should be no complacency in disseminating awareness about the virus widely and on a continuous emphasis on preventing spread of the infection.
The Prime Minister also lauded the concerted efforts of the Centre, Delhi Government and the local authorities under the guidance of Home Minister Amit Shah to contain the pandemic situation in Delhi and directed that the similar approach should be adopted with the neighbouring states of U.P., Haryana and Rajasthan to contain the pandemic in the entire NCR (national capital region) area.
ITOLIZUMAB: In a related development, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Saturday granted permission for marketing of Itolizumab (rDNA origin), a monoclonal antibody approved for severe chronic plaque psoriasis, under restricted emergency use for the treatment of Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS) in moderate to severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) patients due to COVID-19, subject to some conditions like informed consent of patients, a risk management plan, and use only in the hospital setup.
The indigenous drug produced and marketed by M/s Biocon since 2013 under brand name Alzumab for treatment of the chronic plaque psoriasis has been thus repurposed for Covid-19. The average cost of treatment with this drug is also lesser than comparable drugs used in the investigational therapies under the Health Ministry's Clinical Management Protocol.
The DCGI approved its sale after its subject expert committee cleared the clinical trial results on the Covid-19 patients as presented by Biocon after Phase II trial. The ministry sources said details of primary endpoint of mortality, other key endpoints of lung function such as improvement in PaO2 and O2 saturation were presented, showing significant reduction of the key inflammatory with the drug, thereby preventing hyper-inflammation in COVID-19 patients.
NEW HAND SANITISER: Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilisers Ltd (RCF), a PSU undertaking of the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers, has released a new hand cleansing gel "RCF Saferola," claiming that it is a skin-friendly moisturizer containing Iso Propyl Alcohol (IPA) and Aloe Vera extract, enriched with Vitamin-E having a fresh lime fragrance.
Its CMD S C Mudgerikar said the new gel is a small contribution of the RCF towards controlling spread of the current pandemic.