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Assam doctor dies after taking anti-malaria drug to prevent coronavirus

Assam doctor dies after taking anti-malaria drug to prevent coronavirus

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  30 March 2020 10:44 AM GMT

GUWAHATI: Utpaljit Barman, 44, a senior anaesthetist at Guwahati-based Pratiksha Hospital died from heart attack after he took hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, approved by some authorities to have some impact against coronavirus.

Barman passed away at another private hospital where he was admitted due to heart-related complications

“Several doctors are using hydroxychloroquine as self-medication to prevent Covid-19. Barman too took it,” said Nirmal Kumar Hazarika, Pratiksha Hospital’s medical superintendent.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for health workers and family members of coronavirus patients who are at high risk.

The recommendation is mainly for asymptomatic people who are closely working with COVID-19 patients.

The measure should not instill “sense of false security” and other measures of hygiene and social distancing should be practiced, said the medical body’s National Task Force.

The drug should be given after on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner.

A few days ago, a French researcher had reported successful trial of a new treatment line for COVID-19, with early tests suggesting it can stop the virus from becoming contagious in just six days.

According to, Professor Didier Raoult from hospital l’Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire (IHU Mediterranee), put up a video to explain the trials held earlier this week. Raoult, an infectious diseases specialist, was tasked by the French government to research possible treatment for the novel coronavirus.

According to the professor, the first COVID-19 patients he treated with drug chloroquine saw rapid and effective speeding of their healing process, and a sharp decrease in the amount of time they remained contagious.

Chloroquine — which is normally used to prevent and treat malaria — was administered via drug Plaquenil. “We included everyone who was in agreement to be treated, which was almost everyone. Two towns in the protocol, Nice and Avignon, gave us infected patients who had not yet received treatment,” Raoult was quoted as saying by

According to the media report, the treatment was offered to 24 patients, who were among the first to become infected in the southeast of France, and who had voluntarily admitted themselves to hospital for the process.

Patients were given 600mcg per day for 10 days. They were closely monitored, as the drug can interact with other medication, and cause severe side effects in some cases, it added. “We were able to ascertain that patients who had not received Plaquenil (drug containing hydroxychloroquine) were still contagious after six days, but of those who received Plaquenil, only 25 per cent were still contagious after the given period,” he added.

Chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine have previously been used to treat coronavirus patients in China, in ongoing COVID-19 clinical trials.

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