Pune, May 22 : At least 25 COVID-19 patients, admitted in a semi-critical condition at the government-run Sassoon General Hospital here, will be administered 'tocilizumab' -- a drug which has proven effective in treating the infection, an official said on Friday.
The new drug -- an injection which costs around Rs 20,000 -- will be given to 25 patients in the first phase and depending on the results, the Pune Municipal Corporation will decide on its further use, civic commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad said. A special task force of specialist doctors, set up under chairmanship of Dr D B Kadam, recommended 'tocilizumab' for COVID-19 patients in case their condition worsens, he informed.
The task force has recommended the use of the drug in patients aged below 50 years, and for those with evidence of cytokine storm, requiring oxygen and having a persistent fever. “After the ethical team gave its approval for use of 'tocilizumab', we have started procuring it for 25 patients in the first phase,” he said. “'Tocilizumab' was administered to an 'anganwadi' worker, admitted to Bharti Hospital in a critical condition, who has made a remarkable recovery,” he said.
Civic hospitals in Mumbai were also using the drug to treat COVID-19 patients, Mr Gaikwad informed and said it has given good results. Pune district, the second worst-hit from Coronavirus in Maharashtra after Mumbai, has so far reported 4,809 cases, including 242 deaths. (UNI)