Remdesivir, Plasma therapy limited role in treating COVID-19, says AIIMS chief Randeep Guleria


New Delhi: Delhi All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) chief Dr Randeep Guleria on Monday (April 19) said that anti-viral Remdesivir and plasma therapy have a limited role to play in the treatment of COVID-19 infected patients and are not of much use.

During a press conference, the AIIMS director stressed that Remdesivir injections should be administered to only critical COVID-19 infected patients. 

“Remdesivir should only be given to patients who are hospitalised, had fall in oxygen saturation and have infiltrates on the chest X-ray or CT-scan,” said AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria.

He further stated that Remdesivir does not decrease mortality and that it is not useful to people exhibiting mild symptoms. “It’s imp to understand that Remdesivir isn’t magic bullet & isn’t a drug that decreases mortality. We may use it as we don’t have an anti-viral drug. It’s of no use if given early to asymptomatic individuals/ones with mild symptoms. Also of no use, if given late,” he added. 

The AIIMS chief further said that studies have shown that plasma therapy has a limited role and is not of much use. “Studies show plasma therapy has limited role and isn’t of much use. Less than 2% COVID patients require Tocilizumab that’s being used lot these days. Majority of patients with mild symptoms/asymptomatic will improve with just symptomatic treatment,” ANI quoted him as saying. 

Guleria clarified that steroids would not be helpful if provided on the first day of infection. “Recovery trials showed that steroids will benefit but it’s also imp to know when they’re given. If given early before your saturation (O2) falls, it has a harmful effect. COVID patients who got steroids early had higher mortality than those who didn’t,” he stated. 

“It is of no use if steroids are given on day one. They are useful only in moderate to severe illness when oxygen saturation is falling,” said Delhi AIIMS Director. 

(With ANI inputs)

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