Tamil Nadu

‘Plasma therapy and remdesivir effective’

With the use of plasma therapy and remdesivir on COVID-19 patients raising a lot of questions recently, Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar said the State’s Health Department had asked the Union Health Minister to consider the views of the treating team of doctors in Tamil Nadu that found plasma therapy and the antiviral drug effective in the management of the disease before coming up with any guideline.

“We clearly explained this to the Union Health Minister at the review meeting on Wednesday. Our treating team of doctors — experts, senior doctors and doctors on the field — have put forward their view that plasma therapy was beneficial in the treatment of COVID-19. Similarly, drugs like remdesivir, tocilizumab and enoxaparin were found to be effective. Doctors have said that remdesivir was found to be very beneficial when administered in the early stages when lung involvement was less,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function to mark World Stroke Day at the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital on Thursday.

“We informed the Union Health Minister that the comprehensive treatment using these drugs, the AYUSH system of medicine and plasma therapy was effective. The opinion of our treating team should be obtained before the Indian Council of Medical Research comes up with guidelines,” Dr. Vijayabaskar said.

Asked about the appointment of ABVP leader Shanmugam Subbiah as a board member of AIIMS, Madurai, and the subsequent criticism from Opposition parties, he said the appointment was made by the Central government. “There are a few views on the appointment. The Centre has to decide on it,” he said.

Declining trend

The Minister said the number of COVID-19 cases was declining in Chennai and the rest of the State.

Noting that dengue control was a challenge during rains, he said public health teams and volunteers were taking up control activities simultaneously for COVID-19 and dengue. “Dengue cases were 15-fold high in Chennai during the same time last year. The forthcoming festivals are another challenge. Wearing masks and physical distancing should not be forgotten and we need to remain focused on precautionary measures,” he said.

The Minister said Tamil Nadu did only RT-PCR tests and if any private laboratory was found to be performing rapid tests, the government would take action. “Private laboratories should inform the Health Department if they find lung involvement in any person when a scan is taken. We are monitoring scan centres, and action will be taken if they fail to inform the Department, as such persons should be followed up for tests,” he said.

On the preparedness to prevent water-logging at hospitals, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Egmore, and the ground floor of the Institute of Child Health, Egmore, were affected in the recent rains. “Primary health centres at Pozhichalur and Porur, and the Government Hospital, Tambaram, have problems of water-logging. The Public Works Department is taking up works on a war footing,” he said.

Some private hospitals in low-lying areas also had problems of water-logging. They have been told to create draining facilities and shift generators to the first floors, he said.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 3:43:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/plasma-therapy-and-remdesivir-effective/article32976948.ece

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