New Delhi: A majority of Covid-19 patients during this Omicron-driven surge of infections have so far shown mild symptoms. These patients can be managed at home with symptomatic treatment according to an AIIMS doctor. The doctor also said Monday that antiviral pill ‘Molnupiravir’ is no magic drug for the disease.
“There is no specific drug against Covid-19 as of now. The treatment still remains symptomatic,” said Dr Neeraj Nischal, an additional professor in the Department of Medicine at AIIMS. All that is needed is close supervision of patients, especially those who are at risk such as the elderly with comorbidities and those who are still not vaccinated, he said.
“Pandemic does not mean that unless your doctor prescribes multiple drugs or fancy pills you are not going to get okay. At the end of the day, patience, a positivity of mind and paracetamol will see a majority of patients through,” Dr Nischal said.
“A majority of the infected patients during the third wave of Covid-19 so far have shown mild symptoms. It can be easily managed at home with symptomatic treatment,” asserted Dr Nischal.
About the recently approved drug ‘Molnupiravir’, the doctor said it is being touted as a magic pill, which is not the case.
“Data of this particular molecule is not that robust as is being claimed. Most importantly, the population in which the trial was conducted and the type of virus variant prevalent at that time is entirely different from today’s scenarios,” Dr Nischal pointed out.
Molnupiravir works by inducing mutation in the virus by substituting one of the components that is also present in human genetic material.
“So, apart from theoretical possibility of selecting a mutant virus which could be more dangerous, it can also affect rapidly dividing cells of human beings like cells of reproductive organs in male, foetus in pregnant women, bone and cartilage of young adults and children,” the doctor explained.
“People must remember that this drug has been given restricted emergency use authorisation in a very selective group of patients who are at risk of developing serious disease and have no other therapeutic options. So efforts should be made to restrict the use of this drug as the known and unknown harm is much more than the limited benefit it may offer,” the doctor asserted.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava had last week said Molnupiravir has major safety concerns and has not been included in the national protocol for the treatment of Covid-19.