There is limited evidence on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine to deal with COVID-19 and there is not enough evidence proof to advise it for people, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Joint Secretary, Lal Aggarwal said on Monday.
"We have allowed the use of Hydroxychloroquine for healthcare workers dealing with COVID-19 patients or high-risk contacts of the patients though there is limited evidence of its efficacy. There is not sufficient evidence to use it at the community level," Aggarwal said in a press conference here.
"We have issued advisory related to it. Every medicine has side effects. Because we have allowed it based on limited evidence in some locations, there is a misconception that anyone can take it. We should follow technical guidance. Those who are not advised to take this medicine should not take it," he said.
The Union Health Ministry had earlier placed an order of about 10 crore hydroxychloroquine tablets with various pharmaceutical companies for healthcare workers.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has suggested the use of hydroxychloroquine tablets only for healthcare workers and caregivers involved in the treatment and in direct contact with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients.
US President Donald Trump on Saturday said that he has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to supply Hydroxychloroquine tablets that can be used to treat COVID-19 patients.
"After call today with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is giving serious consideration to releasing the hold it put on a US order for hydroxychloroquine," Trump announced at the White House Coronavirus task force briefing. (ANI)