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Doctor’s Advice for COVID Patients at Home? Claims Are Misleading

The Quint found that some of these medicines are no longer suggested by doctors actively providing COVID treatment.

Published
WebQoof
4 min read
The Quint found that some of these medicines are no longer suggested by doctors actively providing COVID treatment.
i

A message claiming to be from a doctor at Mumbai’s KEM Hospital, suggesting certain medicines as treatment for COVID patients at home, is going viral on social media. The message provides a list of medicines to be taken, as well as certain foods to be eaten when someone tests positive for COVID-19.

However, The Quint found that while some of these medicines are no longer even suggested by doctors who are actively providing COVID treatment, the suggestions are certainly not to be followed by a person at home without the medical guidance and supervision of a doctor.

CLAIM

An archived version of this post can be seen <a href="http://archive.vn/N0imT">here</a>.
An archived version of this post can be seen here.
(Photo: Screenshot/Facebook)

The message, as seen above, suggests that if a COVID-positive person has dry cough at the beginning, they should eat certain foods like dal rice, khichdi etc and avoid oily and spicy foods, while also consuming ginger tea, turmeric milk, etc.

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Then the message goes on to suggest certain allopathic medicines for several conditions, such as Tab Azee, Tamiflu and HCQS, apart from a cough syrup (Asthakind), paracetamol (Dolo 650) and Vitamin C (Limcee).

The Quint received the viral message from one of its readers on its WhatsApp helpline number.

We also found people sharing the message on Facebook.

An archived version of this page can be seen <a href="http://archive.is/yJkiK">here</a>.
An archived version of this page can be seen here.
(Photo: Screenshot/Facebook)

WHAT WE FOUND

First off, no such message/article has been written or issued by Mumbai’s KEM Hospital. Speaking to The Quint, the Dean of the hospital, Dr Hemant Deshmukh said:

“This is not an official statement from KEM and has not been written by any of its doctors.”
Hemant Deshmukh, KEM Hospital

Moreover, doctors The Quint spoke to about the viral message pointed out several issues with the message and the medicines and foods it suggests.

With regard to the first part of the message which talks about eating dal rice, khichdi, etc, Dr Suranjeet Chatterjee, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals told The Quint that there is no evidence that they treat COVID-19 in any way. “A few of them, like turmeric, can be immuno-boosting, but none of them have a definite role in the treatment of COVID-19,” he said.

It may be noted here that we have previously busted claims that tea of any kind can help COVID-19 patients, as there is no evidence or data to support the claim that tea can cure coronavirus.

Dr Sumit Ray, a critical care specialist in Delhi NCR also agreed with this and told The Quint that there is no evidence that the suggestions like turmeric etc can help in the treatment of COVID-19.

Dr Ray stressed that no person should self-medicate as was suggested in the message and said that if one had persistent cough, they should see a doctor and could need hospitalisation. Further, he said that suggestions like getting an X-ray or an ECG and self-medicating on the basis of those was also dangerous.

With regard to the drugs mentioned in the message such as azythromycin (Tab Azee) and hydroxychloroquine (Tab HCQS), Dr Chatterjee said that these are to be prescribed depending on the need and clinical condition of the patient. No patient should himself decide the line of treatment and it has to be done under the guidance of a COVID-treating doctor, he further stressed.

“It is not that there is a list of medications and that a person takes depending on what has been written,” he said.

He further added that nowadays, according to the ICMR suggestions, azythromycin is not combined with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a home modality of treatment, since both have cardiac side-effects. Only HCQ is being given, according to the most recent recommendations of ICMR, and only under the supervision and monitoring of a doctor.

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Dr Ray also said the same about combining azythromycin and hydroxychloroquine, stating that while they can still be prescribed together in hospitals, they should not be combined at home for the risk it poses for the heart.

Dr Chatterjee also pointed out that while some of the medications mentioned, such as Limcee, Dolo and Asthakind, could be taken by anybody without problems, Tab Tamiflu is not recommended any longer and is not to be used.

Dr Ray said that while Dolo and Vitamin C can be taken, the latter’s efficacy is still under question. He too, dismissed the usage of Tamiflu, saying “Tamiflu is prescribed for H1N1 and its role in COVID is very questionable.”

Evidently, the message combines some acceptable and some misleading medical advice regarding COVID treatment in its attempt to masquerade as a message from a doctor at KEM Hospital. According to the doctors, the advice given in it should not be followed.

You can read all our coronavirus related fact-checked stories here.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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