The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Saturday said that hydroxychloroquine or HCQ should be used as prophylaxis to prevent the coronavirus and not as a treatment for COVID-19.
"Two trials were conducted aborad. The trails were not good enough. So, we thought if it needs to used in our country, it should be used as prophylaxis, and not as a treatment," Raman R Ganagakhedkar, Head Scientist, ICMR, told ANI.
"We have decided that if it reduces the chances of COVID-19 among doctors and their contacts, then we will advise it to others. The results of the effect of HCQ in them is yet to come," he added.
He, however, cautioned that HCQ has side effects as well.
"We have never recommended it to the general public. Doctors are advised to prescribe to patients judiciously. People need not be worried nor they need to start using HCQ. Like other medicines, this has side effects too. If we get the desired or futile results, we will inform the public," said Ganagakhedkar.
He further said that it is very hard to say whether or not COVID-19 patient, who has recovered is likely to be COVID-19 positive again or not.
"It is very hard to say something about this. We have initiated a study for this. It will take time. We will tell everything based on evidence," he added.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday had said that the government has more than enough stock of HCQ for meeting the current requirement.
India has temporarily licensed the export of paracetamol and anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in appropriate quantities to some countries, which have been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
India has so far 7,529 positive cases of COVID-19 and 242 deaths caused by the virus. (ANI)