COVID-19 Current Affairs - 2020

Dexamethasone added in Clinical Management Protocols for COVID-19 Patients by Health Ministry

On 27th June 2020, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has released an updated Clinical Management Protocol under Dexamethasone was advised as an alternative to Methylprednisolone.

Further, the Ministry has also stated that the Dexamethasone drug to be only used for COVID-19 positive patients who require oxygen support or those with an excessive inflammatory response.

Background

The United Kingdom’s University of Oxford has published its report on 16th June 2020 after conducting trials on 2104 patients with 6 mg of Dexamethasone per day for a period of 10 days.  As per which, it was found that Dexamethasone has reduced mortality in COVID-19 patients who had severe respiratory complications. The drug has reduced deaths among ventilated patients by one-third.

The report also stated that for patients who were not on respiratory support, the drug has shown no signs of benefit.

Dexamethasone

It is a type of corticosteroid medication that is being used for the treatment of a wide range of conductions such as eye pain after eye surgery, asthma, skin diseases, etc. The steroid has immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory effects.

How COVID-19 Patients were benefited from Dexamethasone?

As Dexamethasone has immunosuppressant effects, the COVID-19 patients whose immune system rapidly produces proteins called cytokines in response to the coronavirus infection, Dexamethasone serves to dampen the too aggressive response of the immune system. This overdrive reaction from the immune system is called ‘cytokine storm’. These cytokines when overproduced by the immune system damages cells and tissues in the body.

Sero-Survey begins in New Delhi to determine the Spread of COVID-19

As a part of one of the five aspects of the revised COVID-19 response plan of New Delhi, the Delhi Government jointly with National Centre for Disease Control will conduct the Sero Survey across the National Capital from 27th June 2020.

Amidst a rising number of COVID-19 cases over the last one month, the Survey will help in determining the extent of spread of the Coronavirus disease in New Delhi. 20,000 residents will be covered under the Survey from all the 11 districts of New Delhi.

About the Sero-Survey

ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) based antibody kit developed by the National Institute of Virology (NIV) will be used for the Survey. A pilot Sero Survey was conducted in New Delhi by using the antibody kit earlier in the month. Good results were yielded during the pilot Survey by using the anti-body Kit. The antibody kit of NIV is known by the name ‘COVID Kavach ELISA’.

A Sero Survey is for determining the presence of antibodies in the blood sample of an individual. The presence of the COVID-19 Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody in the blood sample of an individual will suggest past exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

Immunoglobulin G (IgG) Antibody

The immune system develops the antibody Immunoglobulin G (IgG) in the blood and other body fluids for protection against bacterial and viral infections. The antibody IgG develops in 7 to 12 days after an infection or immunization.