Remdesivir not a life-saving drug in Covid-19: Maharashtra task force

Remdesivir is not a life-saving drug in coronavirus and it is helpful during the second to ninth day of illness and not thereafter

Expressing concern over the panic created by the shortage of Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug, Maharashtra's COVID-19 task force has said that it was not a life-saving medicine in coronavirus treatment, and strongly advised against its "rampant and irrational abuse".

The task force also suggested that medical oxygen should be used judiciously during the coronavirus pandemic.

The task force, headed by Dr Sanjay Oak, made these observations in the advisory it issued after its meeting held on Monday.

Remdesivir is not a life-saving drug in coronavirus and it is helpful during the second to ninth day of illness and not thereafter, it said.

"It only arrests the replication of the virus and therefore reduces the hospital stay and convalescence of the patient by one-two days. This leads to a reduction inthe hospital stay by two days at the most. It is possible to save patients even without Remedesivir," the task force said in the advisory.

It added that though it would like to leave the decision to use the drug to the discretion of the treating doctor, it strongly advises against the rampant, irrational abuse of this drug.

It urged the state government to issue guidelines to hospitals to suspend all their routine work that consumes oxygen.

"Cancel all routine surgeries and routine admissions to hospitals. This will save a significant amount of oxygen," the advisory reads.

The task force asked that oxygen audit committees be formed in hospitals to regulate the oxygen usage.

It also asked the hospitals to change the target oxygen saturation level to 93 per cent to 95 per cent.

It said that patients be asked to "awake prone ventilation" method to improve the oxygen saturation and stop the use of high flow nasal oxygen machines (HFNO) until further notice as it uses a large quantity of oxygen.

It issued guidelines on managing home quarantined patients, and suggested that close monitoring is important.

The task force also observed that the advisories are not being strictly adhered to in letter and spirit.



Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel