Tuesday 16 Apr 2024

Govt clears Ivermectin hurdle in High Court

THE GOAN NETWORK | MAY 29, 2021, 12:31 AM IST

The Goa government told the Bombay High Court at Goa that it has decided to administer Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug, as a prophylaxis in the state only after the recommendation of the ‘expert committee’ as well as heeding to the guideline of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

In an affidavit filed before the Court, the Goa Health Department claimed that “various studies conducted in different countries have shown that the medicine has a positive effect on prevention and treatment/cure of patients.”

The State Advocate General also told the Court that the ICMR in its guidelines also recommended the use of Ivermectin.

“This aspect was discussed by the State Expert Committee for Covid in the meeting held on May 13 under the chairmanship of the Health minister [and] also comprising different expert doctors from government and private institutions. I say that after deliberations, it was recommended to use the said medicine once daily for five days to the population over 18 years. However, pregnant/lactating women, as well as those persons with allergy and those having liver/kidney are advised to consult a doctor before taking the medicine,” the Goa Health Department said in its affidavit.

However, the High Court sought to know whether the ICMR had recommended the use of Ivermectin as a  prophylaxis  (a medicine treatment to reduce the risk of contracting a disease) or whether it is being used for those who have already tested positive.

The HC went on to suggest that since the state intends to use it as a prophylactic which isn’t specifically mentioned by the ICMR guidelines it was keeping the contentions open allowing the petitioners to specifically file a fresh challenge if the Goa government begins using Ivermectin as a prophylactic.

Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, however, ‘welcomed’ the decision of the High Court. “Grateful to the High Court for accepting the Government of Goa’s decision to use Ivermectin for treating Covid-19. This is a crucial step taken by the Govt. on advice of our expert team of doctors with an aim to help us in reducing the infectivity rate and control surge of Covid-19 cases,” Rane tweeted.

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