INDIA forces unvaccinated to wear skull and crossbones bibs; and removed recommendations for ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine
LUCKNOW, India (Reuters) – Police in rural India have made some citizens who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus wear signs with a skull and crossbones, the universal symbol for danger, stoking anger in a country where shots are in short supply.
Officers in the Niwari district of central Madhya Pradesh state said they introduced the policy to encourage more vaccinations.
“Watching the low vaccination rate in our district we decided to honour the people who got vaccinated, but then we also found a large number of people who were not vaccinated,” Santosh Patel, a sub-divisional police officer posted in the Prithvipur block of Niwari district, told Reuters on Thursday.
“So to teach them a lesson and encourage them to get vaccinated, we administrated an oath to get them inoculated as soon as possible.”
Those who were not vaccinated were given a skull and crossbones sign saying “Do not come near me, I am not vaccinated. Please stay away from me,” according to Patel and video footage from the district. Some people were seen wearing the signs taped to their chest.
The policy has provoked anger online, with social media users calling it an “insult” and “stigmatising”.
Around 14% of residents in Madhya Pradesh have had one inoculation against coronavirus, with vaccination rates in rural areas like Niwari among the lowest anywhere in the country.
India on Monday issued a new clinical protocol for Covid treatment and dropped all commonly used treatments for mild patients of the infection, including antibiotics, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), ivermectin and antiviral drug favipiravir.
No antibiotic for mild cases
- No antibiotics or antiviral drug favipiravir for mild patients
- No steam inhalation (people doing this in excess)
- Hydration, good diet, positive mindset, social connection important for recovery
- Remdesivir, tocilizumab use only in severely ill cases, as per fresh DGHS norms
WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan today hailed the new evidence-based guidelines developed by the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) who said mildly ill Covid patients would be fine with just paracetamol, cough syrup and budesonide inhalation and need not be prescribed any antibiotics or major drugs at all.
This means the currently in use and much prescribed HCQ, favipiravir, ivermectin, azithromycin, doxycycline, zinc and vitamins are not required clinically and have no evidence of benefit.
The DGHS advice, however, is at variance with the ICMR advisory, which recommends both ivermectin and HCQ in mild cases. For asymptomatic patients, the new guidelines do not even recommend a blood test or any drugs and clarify “no investigation and no medications are needed at this stage.”