New Delhi: In a major development in India’s battle to contain the fast-spreading novel coronavirus pandemic, the National Task Force constituted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday recommended using ‘hydroxychloroquine‘ for treatment of high-risk COVID-19 cases in India. (Click here for all coronavirus in India-related news). Also Read - Coronavirus: What is Hydroxychloroquine? Why is it Trending?

The task force also released an advisory clarifying ‘high-risk’ cases which can be put under hydroxychloroquine medication for the treatment of COVID-19. The ‘high-risk’ cases were categories as follows

(1.) Asymptomatic healthcare workers who are involved in taking care of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases

(2.) Asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases

Further, as per the advisory, the protocol recommended by the National Task Force has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India. Additionally, the advisory gives a series of instructions to be followed while dealing with suspected or confirmed coronavirus cases.

Notably, this is not for the first time that hydroxychloroquine has been suggested as a possible means to treat COVID-19 infection. Earlier, US President Donald Trump, too, had stated that it could be used to treat the infection.

Experts, however, warned against using it unless prescribed by a medical practitioner.

Also called ‘plaquenil,’ hydroxychloroquine is a medication used to prevent or treat certain types of malaria.