The Moving Curve: Episode 8

Hello and welcome to Episode 8 of The Moving Curve, a 5-minute nightly podcast around the novel coronavirus epidemic in India. I’m Rukmini, a data journalist, and today I’m considering the question: how are hospitals treating the virus when there’ no known cure?

India’s COVID-19 treatment protocol: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/RevisedNationalClinicalManagementGuidelineforCOVID1931032020.pdf

ICMR March 23 hydroxychloroquine prophylactic advice: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/AdvisoryontheuseofHydroxychloroquinasprophylaxisforSARSCoV2infection.pdf

Jaipur’s HIV drug “success”: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/city-docs-cure-corona-patient-with-hiv-drugs/articleshow/74584859.cms

Subsequent ministry recommendation: https://www.news18.com/news/india/coronavirus-health-ministry-recommends-anti-hiv-drug-combination-lopinavir-ritonavir-on-case-to-case-basis-2539919.html

Trial showing Lopinavir-Ritonavir did not work: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/health/coronavirus-antiviral-drugs-fail.html

US FDA approval: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/30/coronavirus-drugs-hydroxychloroquin-chloroquine/

WHO’s large global trial: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/who-launches-global-megatrial-four-most-promising-coronavirus-treatments

At the moment, treatment of COVID-19 patients is almost tragically routine, considering how extraordinary this pandemic has been. With untested treatment protocols come new risks. It’s not hard to understand the balancing act governments are having to play, both being safe and experimenting.

Thanks for listening. This episode was edited by Anand Krishnamoorthi. Tomorrow — a new question.

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I am a data journalist based in Chennai, India.

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