Preventive drug for healthcare workers cleared-THE HINDU-24-03-2020


The use of hydroxyl chloroquine as prophylaxis for high risk population faced with the SARS-CoV-2 infection was recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research’s national task force on Monday. The protocol recommended by the National Task force has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India for restricted use in emergency situations.

He added that placing of healthcare workers under chemoprophylaxis should not instil a sense of false security. “They should follow all prescribed public health measures such as frequent washing of hands, respiratory etiquettes, keeping a minimum distance and use of personal protective equipment ,” Prof. Bhargava said. Also a day after the Council allowed private labs to test for COVID-19, Prof.

Bhargava said the ICMR has now expedited approvals for manufacturing of domestic commercial testing kits. “We are fast tracking approval for kit manufacturers. We want to clarify that those kits need not have USFDA or European CE approval but will need an ICMR-National Institute of Virology approval. They have 15,000 collection centres across India and these labs will increase as and when they register,” Prof.

Under ICMR's network, 111 labs are functional and government's testing capacity is over 10,000 samples per day, ICMR has said. “Since Body Coveralls is a specialised protective suit meant for high level of protection to the health professionals, it has stringent technical requirements. Over the last 45 days, the Health and Textiles Ministry is attempting to locate adequate number of sources who can produce and supply the requirement of body coveralls for the government,’’ said a senior health official.

He added that during the last week of January 2020, the technical standard for the coveralls was prescribed as per WHO class-3 exposure pressure in accordance with ISO 16003 or its equivalent. So far, proto type garments of six Indian manufacturers have passed the prescribed tests and now we are continuously working to streamline the supply chain, remove bottlenecks and maintain a steady supply of all materials required for the healthcare professionals,” he added.

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