Amid rising COVID-19 figures and a possible outbreak of the virus in the community in coming weeks, the Tripura government Tuesday said it has received good results from using investigational drugs like Tocilizumab and Remdisivir on critical corona patients and has ordered more vials of the drugs.
Speaking to reporters, state Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said the health department has seen ‘positive results’ after using Tocilizumab on COVID-19 patients and their health condition showed a ‘significant improvement’.
“We had ordered six vials of Tocilizumab for using on critical patients. The results of these trials were positive and the health department has now decided to place orders for 50 more vials of the drug,” he told reporters. The medicine costs Rs 30,000 a vial, the minister said.
Speaking to indianexpress.com this morning, Additional Chief Secretary S K Rakesh said the state government is ordering 100 more vials of Remdisivir as well along with Tocilizumab.
“Both these drugs were found useful. We had ordered six vials of Tocilizumab and over a 100 vials of Remdisivir. While both drugs were found useful, the Tocilizumab vials were already used up and around 80 Remdisivir vials are still available. We are ordering 50 more of Toilizumab and 100 more units of Remdisivir,” he said.
Tocilizumab, also known as Atlizumab, was originally designed as an immunosuppressive drug for treating rheumatoid arthritis and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, a form of arthritis prevalent among children. Remdesivir, a broad-spectrum antiviral drug, has also been found useful in treating severely ill COVID-19 patients.
The Health Ministry had earlier allowed use of investigational therapies like Remdesivir, Convalescent Plasma Therapy and Tociluzimab, but only in severe cases.
An official of the health department has said Tocilizumab is being manufactured in India by a Swiss drug manufacturer and isn’t available in the open market. “We are placing orders directly to the manufacturer and only the government can trace the order; so it’s perfectly safe,” he said. The company has beefed up the manufacturing of drug in view of orders coming from different states, he added.
As per latest reports from the state COVID-19 control room, a total of 2,48,668 tests have been conducted in the state, out of which 9,213 people have tested COVID positive. The tally of recovered cases stands at 6,574, which the state government claims to be one of the highest recovery rates in the Northeast region.
So far, 83 people have succumbed to the virus in the stte, marking a 0.90 percent fatality rate.
Tripura’s COVID-19 positivity rate sits at 3.70 percent, which has seen a spike in the last 26 days.
The state had only 4,998 COVID positive patients on August 1 with 24 deaths, and a positivity rate of 2.91 per cent against 9-10 per cent positivity rate within a gap of 26 days. The fatality rate in the beginning of August stood at 0.48 per cent compared to 0.90 per cent now. Part of this is likely due to a huge number of testing done in the meantime.
Tripura was testing 42,924 persons for coronavirus per million, while the figures now stand at 61,175.