Odisha gives Green Signal to COVID-19 Drug Favipiravir for Home Treatment

The Odisha government has given a green signal to start using the favipiravir drug for COVID-19 patients under home treatment. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting led by Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy.

Chief Secretary has requested Odisha Health and Family Welfare Department to circulate the Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) on the use of oral favipiravir among doctors. Members of rapid response teams (RRTs) will also be trained to evaluate the suitability of a patient in home isolation for the treatment.

About 80 per cent of COVID-19 positive patients prefer home isolation according to government sources.

“COVID-19 is an evolving crisis. The new clinical input and empirical evidence about the pandemic have proved the effectiveness of Favipiravir treatment as antiviral therapy. It will save the patients in home isolation from getting serious. Many doctors and virus experts have posted that medicine will be helpful in COVID management to a large extent,” said Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy.

β€œThe medicine needs to be used with proper advice and precaution. The patients must take the therapy under the guidance of physicians,” he added.

The treatment can be prescribed only after receiving the consent of the patient. According to SOP, the RRTs would deliver the medicine, detail information sheet, ‘Dos and Don’ts’ along with other necessary information to the patients in home isolation. In case an adverse reaction occurs, the RRTs would shift the patient to a COVID care facility.

Favipiravir is an anti-flu drug developed by a subsidiary of the Japanese camera maker Fujifilm. Notably, the drug has shown positive results during its clinical trials conducted in China. In the absence of a vaccine, this treatment is currently the best defence for patients with mild symptoms.