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Anti-HIV drug being tried on COVID-19 patient in Kerala for the first time

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Kochi, Mar 19: Doctors have started using anti-HIV drug combinations Lopinavir and Ritonavir for the first time in the country in the treatment of a COVID-19 patient in Kerala, a day after the Union Health Ministry recommended such a course on a case-to-case basis.

The medicines are being used on a foreigner admitted to the isolation ward of the Government Medical College Hospital here with his consent, according to a statement from the Ernakulam District Information Office.

Anti-HIV drug being tried on COVID-19 patient in Kerala for the first time

Earlier, the nod for using the drugs on the patient, also suffering from pneumonia, was given by the State Medical Board and the Indian Council of Medical Research, it said. After the medicines were arranged by the Ernakulam district Collector S Suhas, the doctors revised and fixed the protocol for the treatment. The doctors said this was for the first time in India thatRitonavir and Lopinavir are usedon a COVID-19 patient.

The medicines were used on an experimental basis on coronavirus patients in China's Wuhan - the epicentre of the outbreak of the pandemic.

Coronavirus: The latest Health Ministry advisory on social distancing

The team of doctors here is led by the medical college principal Dr Thomas Mathew. Doctors Fathahuddin, Jacob Jacob, Ganesh Mohan and Geetha Nair are other members. The spouse of the patient, also kept at the isolation ward, has tested negative forthe coronavirus, the statement added.

In its revised guidelines on the 'Clinical Management of COVID - 19' issued on Tuesday, the Health Ministry recommended Lopinavir-Ritonavir for high-risk groups patients aged above 60, suffering from diabetes mellitus, renal failure, chronic lung disease and are immuno - compromised.

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