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Remdesivir Not A Magic Bullet, It Has Harmful Effects: AIIMS Director

Mumbai: Director of AIIMS Dr Randeep Guleria spoke during the press conference on the Remedisvir issue and said that anti-viral drug is not a magic bullet. According to him, the drug could in fact cause harm if given too early or too late.

Also Read: ICMR Chief Explains Difference Between Symptoms In 1st & 2nd COVID-19 Waves

“Over the past year of COVID management, we learned that two things are most important – drugs and timing of drugs. If you give them too early / late, it will hurt. Giving a cocktail of drugs on day 1 Can kill your patient. Would be more harmful,” he said.

“Remdesivir should only be given to patients who are hospitalised, had fallen in oxygen saturation and have infiltrated on the chest X-ray or CT scan,” the AIIMS Director said.

“It’s important to understand that Remdesivir isn’t a magic bullet and isn’t a drug that decreases mortality. We may use it as we don’t have an anti-viral drug. It’s of no use if given early to asymptomatic individuals/those with mild symptoms. It’s also of no use if given late,” he added.

The AIIMS director further explained, “Recovery trials showed that steroids will benefit but it’s also important to know when they’re given. If given early before your saturation (O2) falls, it has a harmful effect. COVID patients who got steroids early had higher mortality than those who didn’t. It is of no use if steroids are given on day 1. They are useful only in moderate to severe illness when oxygen saturation is falling.”

Guleria further ruled out plasma therapy as a sure-shot effective treatment, saying that studies show plasma therapy has a limited role and isn’t of much use.

“Less than 2% COVID patients require Tocilizumab that’s being used a lot these days. A majority of patients with mild symptoms/asymptomatic will improve with just symptomatic treatment,” he said further.

Meanwhile, India yet again reported the highest single-day spike of COVID-19 cases with over 2.73 lakh fresh infections and 1,619 deaths in the last 24 hours.

With this, the total number of positive cases in the country to 1,50,61,919. There are currently 19,29,329 active cases in the country as of Monday. The death toll reached 1,78,769 as of Monday.

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