Doctors at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital (SMS), Jaipur have succeded in treating 3 patients who were tested positive for Coronavirus. This was confirmed by Rohit Kumar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary (Medical and Health) as he confirmed that the condition of the patients' has improved after they were administered a combination of the drugs. He said that a team of doctors under the guidance and supervision of Dr Sudhir Bhandari, Principal of SMS Medical College, held consultations with ICMR and tried a combination of drugs used to treat Malaria,, Swine Flu (Tamiflu) and HIV.
Rohit said that the first two patients, both Italians, who were tested positive had symptoms like the flu. Hence they were initially given anti-malaria and anti-swime flu drugs. A combination of two anti-HIV drugs has proved crucial in the treatment of the coronavirus
Rohit added that the doctors at SMS were constantly in touch with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Drug Controller General of India. Since the stucture of coronavirus is similar to that of HIV to some extent, they tried a combination of the two anti-HIV drugs. Three of the four patients have been declared corona free.
"It seems that the drug combination is working becaue three patients have recovered. The good thing is that all the three patients are elderly and the successful result of the drug on patients of such age is a big thing", Rohit added.
Dr DS Meena, Superintendent of SMS Hospital, where all the three patients were treated and the combination of anti-HIV drugs Lopinavir and Ritonavir. These drugs are used in the second line of treatment for HIV with drugs meant for curing malaria and swine flu. Dr. Sudhir Bhandari added that this line of treatment was administered to a 70 year old woman from Italy, who arrived here as a tourist. Another Italian, 69 years old was the other patient. Dr Bhandari led a team consisting of Dr Raman Sharma, Dr Prakash Keswani, Dr S Banerjee, Dr Bharat Sharma, Dr Sushil Bhati and other specialists as well as nursing staff who worked day in and day out to treat the patients.
Read this story in the words of Dr Prakash Bhandari, a member of the team who treated the patients (in an Interview with News24).
Dr Prakash Keswani begins his story from the day when the first patient, a 70 year old Italian, was declared positive at 4pm on 2 March at the SMS Hospital. He was a part of the Italian tourist group who had left from Udaipur and arrived in Jaipur. All three patients had first gone to Fortis Hospital and then were referred to SMS Hospital. Multiple tests were administered. This was the first patient with such condition in Rajasthan.
He said that once the results were declared, an emergency meeting of senior doctors was called in the Principals chamber at SMS Jaipur. The team included Dr Sudhir Bhandari, Dr S Banerjee, Dr Raman Sharma, Dr Abhishek Agarwal, Dr DS Meena, HOD Medicine and other senior.
None of the Doctors were unaware of any specific medicine, which could be administered on this patient. Initially, the patient was administered the drugs used to treat Swine Flu and then the team then took it upon themselves to go through the literature on possible medication. While browsing through the literature, the team came across two medicine, Lipolavir and Ritonavir, which they understood as having the capability of giving positive results on the existing symptoms. Dr Abhishek Agarwal, who was alongside the team, said that these two medicines were available in the the clinic. The clinic was opened in the evening and the medicines were retrieved and administered to the patient in the correct doses.
Going further, the Doctors discovered that Chloroquine, the drug used in treatment of Malaria could be used to improve the condition of the lungs. The patient was administered this drug as well. Dr Prakash said that on the next day, when the doctors discovered that a 70 year old lady, who was the wife of the first patients, was also tested positive for Coronavirus. She was also administered this medicine. After a couple of days ,an 85 year old was also diagnosed with Coronavirus. He was suffering from Diabetes and other complications. He was also administered the drug.
Finally, the 70 year old recovered in 4 days, the 85 year old male recovered in 5 days and the first patient, who was the first positive, and heavily unwell, took well in 8 days. All three were now negative. 2 of the patients have been discharged. The first patient is still having a lung condition, due to being a chronic smoker. He is still being treated, though his COVID19 infection has been declared negative.
Dr Prakash said that these medicines are anti-viral medicines, which can cure most viral conditions. Reading a lot of literature and puttings things together based on symptoms and effect, facilitated the administration of the combination of this drug.
He added that there is a possibiility of the patients immunity resulting in their taking the medicine effect positively. Though drugs in this combination were effected.
Dr Prakash said that now that this combination has been proven effective, the ICMR has recommended these medicines as a possible cure. When other doctors call this team, they are suggested to try this combination. Other factors that will determine treatment effectiveness will be the patients condition, pre-conditions, immunity, age, etc.