If you are an educated man and addicted to social media and televisions channels, you are in for a tiny vein crack in the brain. Now, so much is written about China’s role in bringing worldwide calamity while keeping calm at crucial initial stages when corona made its invisible appearance in November. Ignorance was bliss to WHO which indulged in a wait and watch attitude. Very soon the world turned into an inferno, with people across the globe started dying, in thousands. The best of research institutes plunged into finding a vaccine and doctors battled with their knowledge of medicines and tried safe permutation and combination of the various available drugs. The general consensus was that Chloroquine phosphate, an old drug used for treatment of malaria, showed apparent efficacy and acceptable safety against COVID-19 associated pneumonia in multicentre clinical trials conducted in China. But conflicting opinions were submitted about this line of treatment. Even WHO and the renowned and authoritative research publication The Lancet retracted from its earlier interpretation of negative inference on the use of chloroquine.
The Tamil Nadu government has taken a bold and calculative step to distribute hydroxyl chlroquine (HQC) for prophylaxis treatment of SARS CoV 2 infection for a period of eight weeks with strict monitoring of clinical and ECG parameters. ICMR has been successful in treating corona patients using this method. Perhaps this quick action by the Tamil Nadu government might improve the recovery rate and also prevent new cases of infection.
While on this subject, I recall how preventive action was taken by the government in 1949/50 for malaria. As children, we used to be given a small tablet of Quinine; the bitterness is still lingering in the mouth! Then the teacher would give us a spoon of Cod liver oil high on omega-3 fatty acids which is linked to reducing inflammation and lower blood pressure. After thrusting the spoon of Cod liver oil, the teacher used to give us all a very tasty almond egg shaped peppermint and a very strong pat (blow) on our back to ensure that the oil safely sailed through the abdomen. To the best of my knowledge, that was the best treatment to prevent malaria.
The action seen today is similar to that of the 40’s. The prophylaxis treatment perhaps will reduce the hypertension of hundreds of doctors who are sweating profusely to save the patients. Well done!