Hydroxychloroquine for health workers and case contacts of COVID-19; not for everyone: ICMR

NEW DELHI: The drug is only given to laboratory-confirmed doctors and COVID-19 contacts, a Raman R scientist said Tuesday, noting that it should not be taken by everyone.

Hydroxychloroquine has been described as an essential medication to meet the requirements of any emergency that arises due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its sale and distribution has been restricted.

When asked about the ICMR's official position on the use of hydroxychloroquine amid several conflicting reports about it, Gangakhedkar, Head of Communicable Diseases at the medical research body, said the organization has repeatedly stated that its use is not recommended by part of all.

“We have repeatedly said that it should not be used by everyone. It is administered to doctors and contacts of laboratory confirmed cases. When your data is met only then you can take a call if it should be recommended to everyone (who is at risk), he said.

ICMR has already recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medicine for healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 and also asymptomatic home contacts of laboratory confirmed cases.