While the entire world is grappling with ways and means to contain and cure coronavirus, Indian doctors have succeeded in curing coronavirus patients with a mix of HIV, swine flu, and Malaria, drugs. This combination was recently used for the first time to treat the coronavirus disease amid a growing number of cases in India.
How Was the Patient Cured?
The patient came to India along with her husband as part of a 23-member Italian group to visit major tourist destinations in Rajasthan. Her 69 year-old husband was the first in the group to be diagnosed with coronavirus. After tests on 03 March, the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, confirmed him as a Covid-19 case. The next day, his wife also tested positive for Covid-19.
Doctors at Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital, Jaipur first treated her with a combination of two drugs useful in HIV treatment– Lopinavir 200mg and Ritonavir 50mg twice a day. Before the use of these second-line HIV drugs on the patients, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on the request of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) permitted the “restricted” use of the mix of medications lopinavir and ritonavir. The doctors also gave her chloroquine (useful in the treatment of malaria) and oseltamivir (useful in swine flu treatment).
Talking to local media SMS medical college principal and controller Dr. Sudhir Bhandari said: “We provided her treatment following standard protocol and now she has tested negative for the disease, which is a major achievement for SMS Hospital doctors.” Bhandari said that they decided to administer the combination of lopinavir and ritonavir after the Italian man and his wife developed severe respiratory problems. The Italian patients were admitted on the February 28. After over two weeks of treatment, the Italian woman has already tested negative for coronaviru and her 69-year-old husband — a senior citizen with a history of lung disease and breathlessness — has “responded very well” to the treatment.
Experience Treating Swine Flu Comes in Handy
Doctors at the hospital said that their experience in treating swine flu patients — which spread widely in Rajasthan two years ago — was quite useful in treating the Italian couple. Swine flu is a similar pulmonary pneumonia disease. As they were aware of viral pneumonia behavior, they decided to treat the patients with a combination of swine flu, anti-malarial, and HIV drugs.
The doctors have updated the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) about their success. ICMR is the premier body in India for the formulation, coordination, and promotion of biomedical research. However, more trials are required to scientifically establish this prescription as a line of treatment for coronavirus.
Indian Ayurveda Medicine
Amid the Corona gloom, Indian Ayurveda experts have stated that regular consumption of Ayurvedic herbs strengthens the human body’s immune system, the basic requirement to help prevent even the most dreaded communicable diseases. They have stressed that neem (Azadirachta Indica), Amalaki or amla (Emblica Officinalis), kutki (Picrorhiza Kurroa), guduchi/glioy (Tinospora Cordifolia), and tulsi (basil) are some of the Ayurvedic herbs that are helpful in building immunity in human body and preventing the infection.
They have reiterated that these are helpful in strengthening the immune system, which is key to fighting the deadly virus. Coronavirus affects the lungs and the respiratory system. “Consuming a tablespoonful of Chywanprash daily strengthens the immunity, specifically that of lungs and the respiratory system,” Partap Chauhan, Director, Jiva Ayurveda, told IANS.
Nonetheless, India continues to struggle with coronavirus, with over 107 positive coronavirus cases and two deaths thus far. The government has declared the coronavirus outbreak as a “notified disaster”. The move would enable the states to spend a major chunk of funds from the State Disaster Response Fund to fight the pandemic. The center has also canceled tourist visas. Several states have closed down schools, colleges, movie halls, and shopping malls to prevent the spread of coronavirus.