Based on risk benefit, we should not deny health workers from using hydroxychloroquine: ICMR

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: May 26, 2020, 07:07 PM IST

Representative image Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had called for a "temporary pause... while the safety data is reviewed" on hydroxychloroquine.

A day after the World Health Organization(WHO) stopped trials of hydroxychloroquine, the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) said today that based on risk-benefit the country's health workers should not be denied the use of HCQ.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday had called for a "temporary pause... while the safety data is reviewed" on  hydroxychloroquine.

ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava during a press conference said that "lots of drugs are being repurposed for coronavirus. Taking biological plausibility, in-vitro data & safety of HCQ, we recommend it under strict medical supervision."

"Based on risk-benefit we found that possibly we should not deny our health workers from using it," the ICMR Director General added.

On the fatality rate of coronavirus, the ICMR director general said: "We have surprisingly found a low fatality rate in India, which is very good. There are several hypothesis on this, but we can't say anything clearly on any factor. Hope it continues."

The Lancet medical journal last week had suggested that hydroxychloroquine could increase the risk of death among coronavirus patients, which was cited by WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during his press conference in which he said that "review will consider data collected so far in the solidarity trial and, in particular robust randomised available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug."

"The other arms of the trial are continuing. This concern relates to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19. I wish to reiterate that these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria," the WHO chief added.