Coronavirus Treatment: HIV Drug Used To Cure COVID-19 Patient In India

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A HIV testing kit is displayed during the visit by Prince Harry to the Burrell Street Sexual Health Clinic in London, Britain on July 14, 2016.
A HIV testing kit is displayed during the visit by Prince Harry to the Burrell Street Sexual Health Clinic in London, Britain on July 14, 2016. Reuters/Chris Jackson/Pool

As the world battles the coronavirus pandemic, doctors throughout the world have been experimenting with several drugs to treat coronavirus patients.  Doctors in Kerala, India have begun using anti-HIV medicines on COVID-19 patients.

The doctors in Kalamassery Medical College, Ernakulam, have used Ritonavir and Lopinavir to treat a British national who tested positive for the coronavirus. This can be a landmark achievement in the coronavirus treatment and, with this, more and more patients can be given these drugs to get faster recoveries from the deadly virus.

On March 18, the British national was administered antiretroviral drugs on an experimental basis. He, along with his wife and 16 other people from his own country, had tried to board a flight to Dubai from Cochin International Airport while they were quarantined at Tea Country Hotel Munnar. Six other people in his group are, currently, being treated at the medical college.

“ His two samples have been tested negative. If we give it to relatively young patients at an early stage, the drugs will yield results. It is a huge encouragement for the entire team engaged in the treatment of the disease,” the Times of India quoted Dr. Fathauddeen, nodal officer for COVID-19, Government Medical College, Ernakulam. “We have already administered the drug to another patient”, he added.

According to the doctors who are treating him, the British national was suffering from severe pneumonia at the time of his admission. He was highly critical and was given oxygen support and noninvasive ventilation.

Forty-eight hours later, they administered antiviral drug combinations of Hydroxy Chloroquine, Lopinavir, Ritonavir and Oseltamivir to the patient.

While these drugs help reduce the viral load, the severity of the illness is also expected to come down alongside the viral load. The COVID-19 treatment of the British national patient is over and he is, currently, being treated for non-corona diseases he has.

It is important to note that the doctors have treated this patient after taking permission from the Indian Council of Medical Research. Moreover, Ritonavir and Lopinavir combination was used for COVID-19 treatment in Wuhan, China as well.

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