COVID-19: NCDC Removes Antiviral Drugs From Treatment Guidelines

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The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) , Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has issued a new set of guidelines for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in isolation centres.

Ihekweazu stated this at a Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the decision to stop the administration of antiviral drugs on COVID-19 patients was brought on by latest research on case management.

He said, “We have removed the use of antivirals from our treatment guidelines,” adding that the trials for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine would still go on.

Speaking further on antiviral drugs removed from the COVID-19 treatment guidelines, Ihekweazu said, “We reached out to some antiviral drugs. One that was in our guidelines recently was the lopinavir/ritonavir combination, which is a combination of medicines we use for HIV. So, we look for whatever we have to try.

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“As evidence emerges and science improves, then we have to start making hard choices. There have been quite a number of studies now that have shown that they don’t really improve the outcome of this illness, so we’ve withdrawn them from the guidelines of management.”

The National Coordinator, PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu,  raised the alarm over the lack of access to care for chronic medical conditions, including human immunodeficiency virus, as well as the absence of maternal, newborn, and child health services.

According to him, persons with underlying medical conditions are unable to receive the needed care.

Yetunde Adegoke

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