The national task force for COVID-19 constituted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of high-risk cases.
The ICMR advisory recommends placing two groups of high-risk people under this treatment: a) asymptomatic health care workers who are caring for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases; and b) asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases.
ICMR reiterated however that being on this treatment does not mean that other precautions such as frequent hand washing, respiratory etiquettes, social distancing etc. should be ignored. Those under this treatment need to monitor their health carefully, and report any symptoms to health authorities, said the advisory.
The drug can only be given on the recommendation of a registered medical practitioner.
No random testing in India, says ICMR DG
ICMR DG Balram Bhargava has said that random testing will not be conducted in India. Only those who are showing symptoms will be tested.
At a press conference on Monday, Bhargava said that India had the capability to conduct 50,000-70,000 tests per week. He also emphasised that self-isolation from those coming from abroad is a must to break the chain.
He also said that separate COVID-19 hospitals will be set up in states to make monitoring easy.
The aviation ministry has also announced that no domestic commercial flights will operate in India from Wednesday onwards. Operations of domestic cargo flights will continue as normal, they said.