India’s Goa and Uttarakhand states are now planning to distribute the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin in a move to prevent and lower Covid-19 cases, despite the World Health Organization’s advice against it.
Earlier this week, Goa health minister Vishwajit Rane said, “Patients will be treated with Ivermectin 12mg for a period of 5 days. Expert panels from the UK, Italy, Spain and Japan, found a large, statistically significant reduction in mortality, time to recovery and viral clearance in Covid-19 patients treated with Ivermectin,” in a tweet.
On Wednesday the health minister confirmed, it will soon start the prophylaxis treatment with ivermectin for Covid-19 patients aged above 18 years.
Meanwhile, the state of Uttarakhand plans to distribute the drug to persons above two years old, Reuters reported.
Chief Secretary Om Prakash said, “An expert medical panel has recommended this. We are waiting for supplies to come in. Once they do we will distribute this drug,” he told Reuters.
The move comes just a day after WHO chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan tweeted, “Safety and efficacy are important when using any drug for a new indication. WHO recommends against use of ivermectin for COVID-19 except within clinical trials.”
Merck, an ivermectin manufacturer, has also said in a February statement, that there was no evidence to support the drug is effective against Covid-19 and that there was still “A concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.”