The National Task Force for COVID-19 constituted by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine for prevention of the coronavirus infection for high-risk cases.
The advisory provides for placing the -- asymptomatic healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, and asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases -- under chemoprophylasxis with hydroxychloroquine.
The protocol recommended by the National Task Force has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India for restricted use in emergency situations.
However, the drug is not recommended for prophylaxis in children under 15 years of age and it is contraindicated in persons with known case of retinopathy, known hypersensitivity to hydroxychloroquine and 4-aminoquinoline compounds.
Among the key considerations are -- the drug has to be given only on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner.
If anyone becomes symptomatic while on prophylaxis, he or she should immediately contact the health facility, get tested as per national guidelines and follow the standard treatment protocol.
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