A social media user claims that the ICMR released new guidelines for COVID-19 on 6 August, 2020. The claim includes the drug Ivermectin’s treatment course for high-risk patients and frontline health workers as it reduces severity and fatality in 80-90% of cases.
The claim further provides an Ivermectin treatment course for positive asymptomatic and patients with mild symptoms. Claimed by an account named Dr Pratyush Ranjan, the tweet reads:
Other users on Twitter have shared similar claims.
Fact Check/ Verification
India stands only second to the United States in being the worst-affected country worldwide in terms of confirmed cases. As of 8am on 14 September, India has 9,86,598 active cases, and has lost 79,722 lives to COVID-19.
At a time when India witnesses a steady rise in COVID-19 cases, a variety of claims with regard to its treatment are being circulated on social media platforms.
Ivermectin is a drug used to treat parasite infestations like lice, scabies, among others.
There was confusion about Ivermectin after a recent research article described the drug’s effect in SARS-CoV-2 in a laboratory setting.
Soon after, the United States Food and Drug Administration clarified that “while there are approved uses for ivermectin in people and animals, it is not approved for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. You should not take any medicine to treat or prevent COVID-19 unless it has been prescribed to you by your health care provider and acquired from a legitimate source.”
Guideline Released By UP Government For Ivermectin
However, a relevant keyword search led us to an August 2020 article published by Indian Express, which states that Uttar Pradesh government has approved the use of Ivermectin for prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
On 8 August, Times of India reported about UP government’s approval of Ivermectin stating that “health department officials involved with Covid-19 management said that Ivermectin is already being given to frontline health workers.”
On 6 August, Uttar Pradesh government released guidelines on the use of Ivermectin (Tab) to prevent COVID-19 infection. However, it does not mention ICMR with respect to the drug.
Asian News International, UP tweeted about the same.
The claim in context which states that ICMR issued guidelines to treat high-risk patients and frontline health workers with Ivermectin is false. It was in fact the Uttar Pradesh government that released guidelines on the use of Ivermectin (Tab) to prevent COVID-19 infection on 6 August.
Indian Council of Medical Research: https://main.icmr.nic.in/
Government of Uttar Pradesh: https://dgmhup.gov.in/DocumentsCovid19/1621.pdf
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