WHO on Tuesday warned against the general use of Ivermectin, an orally-administered anti-parasitic drug, for treatment of COVID-19 patients, days after a recent study found it to prevent severe infection from coronavirus. The statement from the WHO comes a day after the Goa government gave a green signal for the usage of the drug to all citizens above 18 years to reduce the extent of COVID-19 infection.
“Safety and efficacy are important when using any drug for a new indication. WHO recommends against the use of ‘ivermectin’ for COVID-19 except within clinical trials,” tweeted Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO’s chief scientist.
This is WHO’s second warning against the usage of Ivermectin for coronavirus in the past two months.
The Goa government on Monday cleared a new Covid treatment protocol which recommends all residents above the age of 18 to take five tablets of the Ivermectin drug, in order to prevent the steep and sometimes fatal viral fever, which accompanies a Covid-19 infection.
Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said the drug would be made available at all health centers in the state and should be taken by all residents, irrespective of whether they have Covid-19 symptoms or otherwise.
We are giving this as a prophylaxis treatment, as a preventive, Rane said.
Rane said that Goa would be the first state in the country to endorse the new Covid treatment protocol.