By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Uttar Pradesh is nearly free from COVID-19 after becoming India’s first state to use the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin as an alternative to vaccinations Worthy News learned Wednesday.
The announcement by authorities of India’s most populated state could have global ramifications: Uttar Pradesh is among the five Indian states with the lowest number of COVID cases in the country. Yet, only 5.8 percent of the state’s more than 200 million people are fully vaccinated, according to official estimates.
“Uttar Pradesh was the first state in the country to introduce large-scale prophylactic and therapeutic use of Ivermectin,” recalled Uttar Pradesh State Surveillance Officer Vikssendu Agrawal.
“In May-June 2020, a team at Agra, led by Dr. Anshul Pareek, administered Ivermectin to all RRT (Rapid Response Team) members in the district on an experimental basis,” he said in a statement.
“It was observed that none of them developed COVID-19 despite being in daily contact with patients who had tested positive for the virus,” Agrawal explained.
Additionally, the COVID-19 recovery rate has increased up to 98.7 percent, “proving the effectiveness” Ivermectin, according to officials familiar with the situation.
In recent days the state reported some 200 active cases and zero coronavirus deaths in 24 hours.
However, Kerala, a tiny state located in southern India and over-dependent on vaccines, reported a significant increase in COVID-19 cases.
Uttar Pradesh has an eight times larger population than Kerala. “Despite being the state with the largest population base and a high population density, we have maintained a relatively low positivity rate and cases per million of the population,” noted Agrawal.
He linked the lower positivity and fatality rates in part to the large-scale use of Ivermectin in the state.
Last August, the state government appealed to citizens to have Ivermectin tablets. “Doctors are advising to take Ivermectin 12 mg to contain the impact of the pandemic. This medicine is quite effective in protecting from COVID-19,” it said. Therefore, “we appeal to each and every citizen to have this tablet.”
Besides Uttar Pradesh, India’s capital area Delhi also saw a massive drop in COVID-19 cases linked to the use of Ivermectin, several sources said.
Additionally, Ivermectin was distributed elsewhere, including in the smaller state of Uttarakhand where, in May, “immediately the number of cases collapsed in the region,” authorities and media said.
COVID-19 cases dropped by 98 percent and coronavirus fatalities dropped by 99 percent despite the more contagious Delta variant, according to experts.
Other Indian states are also due to the increase use of the Ivermectin drug as India, a nation of roughly 1.4 billion people, struggles to distribute enough vaccines.
India’s rollout of Ivermectin was due to pressure from the World Health Organization to approve more alternative COVID-19 prevention methods.
It also boosted the argument of vaccine skeptics who pushed for alternative treatments amid concerns about possible long-term side effects of COVID-19 jabs.
But campaigners and the pharmaceutical industry claim benefits of the coronavirus vaccines outweigh the risks even as the jabs were developed in record time.
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