COVID-19 testing Current Affairs - 2020

Advisory on use of Hydroxychloroquine revised

On May 23, 2020, the Indian Council of Medical Research has revised its advisory on the use of HCQ (Hydroxychloroquine). Under the new advisory guidelines, the HCQ should be given only on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner.

Highlights

The advisory was issued after the Joint Monitoring Group held its meeting. The meeting was attended by ICMR, NCDC (National Centre for Disease Control), WHO (World Health Organization) and National Disaster Management Authority.

New Advisory

The new advisories included the following

  • The advisory has included three new categories to whom HCQ shall be prescribed as prophylactic treatment. They are as follows
    • Asymptomatic Health care workers working in non-COVID hospitals
    • Asymptomatic frontline workers that include workers employed in containment zones
    • Paramilitary and police personnel
  • The In-Vitro testing of HCQ has showed reduction of infectivity of COVID-19.
  • The drug is not prescribed for children under 15 years of age.
  • The use of HCQ on high risk population has also been revised.
  • The drug has to be provided only through prescription of a medical practitioner. Initially the use of the drug was allowed in asymptomatic patients without prescriptions.

Why were the advisories revised?

The data on assessment of using HCQ as prophylactic treatment says the following

  • Around 1,323 health care workers faced mild adverse effects
  • Some faced nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain.
  • Some other health care worker faced cardio-vascular effects as well.

India: The Second Largest Manufacturer of PPE in the world

On May 21, 2020, India became the second largest producer of Personal Protective Equipment in the world. China is the leading producer of PPE in the world.

Highlights

The Ministry of Textiles has been taking several measures to maintain the quality of PPE alongside manufacturing.

Background

Initially India faced several challenges in increasing quality PPE products. This includes importing machines from China and also increasing prices. Apart from these, there were delay in imports and non-availability of domestic manufacturers.

The above reasons made India turn indigenous in PPE production. This increased the production of PPE.

It is to be noted that the Textiles Committee recently launched the Synthetic Blood Penetration Testing Equipment. This will help increase PPE testing potential of the country.

Potential of India

India is now producing 2.06 lakh PPE kits every day. This is the maximum capacity of the country. On an average, India produces 1 lakh kits. A PPE kit consists of shoe cover, gloves, eye shield, mask and gown. The data was provided by the Ministry of Health.

In January 2020, India had 2.75 lakh PPE kits and they were then being imported. Today India has more than 15.96 lakh PPE kits as stock buffer.