Coronavirus in Mumbai: Remdesivir, Tocilizumab gave life to 76% of patients at BMC's hospital

Seventy-six per cent of COVID-19 patients at one of the civic-run hospitals survived after they were intravenously administered an injection of Remdesivir or Tocilizumab and only 23.20 per cent succumbed. Health officials attributed this to the timely intervention of providing medical treatment and injections to serious patients to control the mortality rate.

According to data collected from one of the civic-run hospitals, 385 of the 477 patients survived after they were administered a Remdesivir injection, and 92 people died. Similarly, 142 patients were administered with a single dose of Tocilizumab injection, of which 101 survived and 41 succumbed. However, only 9 of 24 patients survived after they were administered with a second dose of Tocilizumab, while the rest 16 died. Civic officials said patients with comorbidities have responded well to a single dose of injection Tocilizumab compared to the second dose given to them. Because of this, they have stopped giving the second dosage.

Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said they have yielded good results in all the civic-run hospitals after they were administered with the injections of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab. Moreover, not all patients are given both injections. So far, more than 2,000 COVID-19 patients at all BMC hospitals have been administered these injections. “Initial treatment with the drug ‘found 95 per cent of patients were recovering’. Commonly used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, Tocilizumab is being administered to COVID-19 patients with pneumonia and breathlessness and those at risk of a cytokine storm, to prevent further severity,” he said.

He further said there is a proper protocol set up for administering these injections, as more than 50 per cent of patients are given both Remdesevir and Tocilizumab. “If we see the statistics, more patients are succumbing after they are administered the second dosage of Tocilizumab. So, we have stopped giving it,” he added.

Dr Ramesh Bharmal, medical director of the civic-run hospital, said earlier there was confusion about administering Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, which was later sorted out after a proper protocol was set by the task force members. “More people survive only after these injections are timely given. It is only given when the patient is COVID-19 confirmed and their blood oxygen saturation level should be below 94 per cent,” he said.

Health experts said the main reason for patients dying after the second dosage of Tocilizumab is because they must have developed some antifungal infections and have serious comorbidities. “Most of the patients who have been administered with these injections have severe comorbidities, due to which their health conditions get worsened. Following the second dosage is not much effective to them,” said one of the task force members.

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