New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry is likely to come up with revised guidelines for the use of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), in combination with antibiotic azithromycin for treating severely ill COVID-19 patients. Also Read - COVID-19 Aftermath: Haryana Govt Freezes Dearness Allowance at Current Rate Till July 2021 Due to Financial Crisis

While HCQ is expected to remain as a part of the new treatment protocol, azithromycin is likely to be dropped. Notably, the ICMR had recommended the combination earlier. If reports are to be believed, AIIMS Delhi is already following the fresh treatment protocol. It will be made public by the ministry in upcoming days. Also Read - SC Draws up Yogi Govt on Over 50 Girls Found COVID +ve in Kanpur Shelter Home, Asks to Report by July 10

Speaking to a leading portal, a Health Ministry official said that a few days back at the group of ministers’ (GOM) meeting, ICMR presented its views on the medicines, including remdesivir and favipiravir — being used in the treatment of COVID-19. “HCQ most likely is going to be continued for use but with probably a different combination”, he added. Also Read - Containment Zones in Delhi Stand at 455; Door-to-Door Health Survey Completed in COVID Hotspot

A top ICMR official also said that use of azithromycin with hydroxychloroquine should be avoided as both prolong the interval between two waves in ECG also known as QTc prolongation. It causes heart problems. He suggested that people can substitute doxycycline or amoxycyclin+ clavulanic acid as they are not known to cause this heart-related toxicity.

Meanwhile, India has become the fourth worst-affected country due to the pandemic as it added around 11,000 cases for the fourth consecutive day yesterday and surpassed the UK’s tally to record 2,97,535 COVID-19 cases so far. On the positive side, the government said that the recovery rate has increased to 49.47 per cent and a total of 1,47,194 individuals have recovered from the deadly disease.