Health Ministry Current Affairs - 2020

Remdesivir now a part of COVID-19 therapy in new health protocol

The Union Health Ministry has recently included Remdesivir as a part of investigational therapy and updated Clinical Management Protocol of COVID-19 patients. The ministry has also added loss of taste and loss of smell as two key symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

The Ministry recently issued “Clinical Management Protocols for COVID-19”. The above therapies and protocols were included under the guidleines.

Highlights

Under the updated protocol, the Ministry has removed its earlier recommendation of the use of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in severe cases. Also, the usage of HCQ along with Azithromycin was also removed.

Guidelines

The Ministry has issued a protocol and listed medicines that can be taken by the COVID-19 patients. The medicines include Tocilizumab, Hydroxychloroquine and convalescent plasma therapy.

Convalescent Plasma Therapy

It is an experimental treatment that are being used by some doctors on COVID-19 patients. Under the therapy, the antibodies isolated from the COVID-19 recovered patients are injected into people affected with the virus. The blood sample of people recovered from COVID-19 is called Convalescent Plasma.

The therapy is used on people that are not responding to other drugs and are suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

Renovated National Food Laboratory inaugurated at Ghaziabad

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan inaugurated regulator Food Safety and Standard Authority of India’s (FSSAI) National Food Laboratory (NFL) in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. It was inaugurated on the occasion of 13th anniversary of enactment of Food Safety and Standards Act, (FSSA) 2006.

About National Food Laboratory (NFL)

It has been established as a result of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP). It makes it first-of-its-kind in the food laboratory sector. It houses state-of-the-art collaborative training centres, namely Centre for Microbiological Analysis Training (C-MAT) and Food Safety Solution Centre (FSSC). It is equipped with latest technologies and facilities to conduct analysis as per global accreditation standards for testing and calibration.

Note: NFL is one of two premier referral laboratories under direct administrative control of FSSAI. The another laboratory located in Kolkata is also being upgraded. FSSAI will also be establishing NFLs at Mumbai and Chennai in the near future along the same lines.