Goa Opposition questions use of ivermectin drug as Covid-prevention measure


The Opposition in Goa on Tuesday has questioned Health Minister Vishwajit Rane over the approval of the anti-parasite drug ivermectin for preventive treatment of Covid, after World Health Organization chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan tweeted against using the drug without clinical trials.

“#GoaCovidCrisis Who prescribed #Ivermectin to corrupt Health Minister @visranefor Prophylaxis Treatment to Goans? Did he obtain approval from @PMOIndia, @MoHFW_INDIA? Is the treatment approved by @WHO? Will @ICMRDELHI respond? @goacm @GovtofGoa must clarify immediately @INCGoa,” state Congress president Girish Chodankar tweeted on Tuesday.

“A intensely scary #COVIDSecondWave made scarier by imposing unproven treatments on unsuspecting #Goans. Who’s running this show? Where’s this heading? Who’s profiting from this? #WHO #Ivermectin #COVIDEmergencyGoa,” former Dy. CM and Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai also tweeted.

Earlier on Tuesday, Swaminathan in a tweet had said: “Safety and efficacy are important when using any drug for a new indication. @WHO recommends against the use of ivermectin for #COVID19 except within clinical trials”.

The Goa government on Monday had amended its Covid treatment protocol, recommending that all persons above the age of 18 should take five tablets of ivermectin, to prevent the viral load, which more of then than not causes excessive trauma and even death in Covid-19 positive patients.

According to Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, the drug would be made available at all government health centres to all residents above the age of 18. He also said that the use of ivermectin helped to control the high viral fever which follows a Covid-19 infection in symptomatic patients.

Globally, ivermectin is used to treat parasite infections.