Hydroxychloroquine not for everyone, says govt panel member (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Eminent physician and one of the members of the state-appointed Global Advisory Board to fight COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Sukumar Mukherjee, on Thursday said hydroxychloroquine can be taken in prescribed doses by frontline health workers in COVID-19 battle it should not be used by everyone.
Health workers who came in contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases, or with other doctors treating such patients can have hydroxychloroquine as per dosage prescribed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Mukherjee said.
The doctor, who was present at the press meet of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, said the medicine was being used for 20-25 years for auto-immune diseases.
He said an inhabitant of a house from where a coronavirus infection has been reported can take the tablet in the prescribed dosage. However, it is advisable to check if there are complications with the eye or heart if the patient is diabetic, the eminent doctor said.
It cannot be used by everyone, the senior physician cautioned adding that overuse of the drug is not good.Mukherjee said COVID-19 deaths in the state are being defined as per well-established norms set throughout the country and the world.
Opposition parties have been charging the state government with hiding the actual number of deaths caused by coronavirus infection.The total number of cases in West Bengal now stands at 188, while 10 patients died so far.
The Covid-19 situation in West Bengal is "comparatively better" compared to several other states, but everyone should cooperate to make the lockdown successful, he said.
"We have to strictly enforce social distancing at this juncture to ensure there is no transmission in coming weeks," said the Global Advisory Board member.
Earlier this month, the chief minister announced the formation of the "Global Advisory Board", a policy-making body which will aid the state government in preparing a roadmap for COVID-19 response in Bengal.
Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee and other eminent personalities from the state are members of the board which will advise the chief minister in reviving the economy after the lockdown is revoked.