Preventive drug for healthcare workers cleared
The use of hydroxyl chloroquine as prophylaxis for high risk population faced with SARS-CoV-2 infection was recommended by Indian Council for Medical Research’s (ICMR) national task force.
Only asymptomatic health care workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 and asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases should be allowed to use this. The protocol recommended by the National Task force has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India for restricted use in emergency situations.
About Indian Council for Medical Research –
- ICMR is India’s apex scientific body for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research.
- It was established in 1911 as Indian Research Fund Association (IRFA) making it one of oldest and largest medical research bodies in the world.
- The ICMR functions under Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi.
- Its Governing Body is presided over by Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
- It is assisted in scientific and technical matters by Scientific Advisory Board comprising eminent experts in different biomedical disciplines.
About hydroxyl chloroquine –
- Hydroxychloroquine (not to be confused with anti-malaria drug chloroquine) is an oral drug used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Hydroxychloroquine is currently under investigation in clinical trials for pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and treatment of patients with mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19.
- It belongs to a class of medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
Section 188 of the IPC
The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 lays down punishment as per Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 for flouting orders issued by various state governments to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In the past, the Act has been routinely enforced across the country for dealing with outbreaks of diseases such as swine flu, dengue, and cholera. Its penal provisions are currently being invoked by states to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code?
- Section 188 relates to disobedience of order duly promulgated by public servant.
- It says violators can be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both; and if such disobedience causes or tends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
World Tuberculosis Day
World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.
The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease. The theme of World TB Day 2020 is “It’s TIME”.
What is TB?
- TB is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
- It typically affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect other sites.
- The disease is spread when people who are sick with pulmonary TB expel bacteria into the air, for example by coughing.
- Without treatment, the mortality rate from TB is high.
- India aims to eliminate TB by 2025. Under the TB Harega Desh Jeetega campaign, Government of India has made a provision of Rs 12,000 crores to fight TB over the next 3 years.