Kolkata, Aug 1: The West Bengal government has issued a new set of guidelines on treating COVID-19 patients with comorbidities, usage of repurposed drugs and post- discharge care.

The new protocols, issued by the health department, was prepared following recommendations of experts who have been visiting several private and state-run COVID facilities, officials said.

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It is aimed at ensuring uniformity in the treatment of coronavirus patients, they said.

On the usage of drugs to treat COVID-19, the guidelines said hydroxychloroquine has no effect on clinical recovery, and it has been clinically beneficial in select cases, but with significant limitations.

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Remdesivir can only be used in case of emergencies keeping in mind the side effects like anaemia, liver function test anomalies and acute kidney injury, it said.

For patients having moderate symptoms but showing an increase in oxygen requirement, the guidelines suggested the use of methylprednisolone and dexamethasone, preferably within 48 hours of admission.

The department also gave its consent to using convalescent plasma in patients with moderate infection as well as to those whose oxygen requirement is progressively increasing, despite use of steroids.

"Only Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and ICMR-approved centres may process convalescent COVID plasma," the guidelines said.

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