Paracetamol is not a Covid-19 drug: Dr. Tshokey

It does not play a specific role in treating the Covid-19

Amidst claims doing the rounds that Paracetamol is sufficient in mild cases of the Covid-19, a clinical microbiologist and member of the Ministry of Health’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG), Dr. Tshokey said Paracetamol is not a Covid-19 drug and does not play a specific role in treating Covid.

Meanwhile, stories are circulating that Paracetamol helps with the recovery if one has the coronavirus as many assume the Covid-19 to be just another sort of flu.

According to the microbiologist, there is no research on Paracetamol and the Covid-19, but Paracetamol can reduce fever and help with flu-like symptoms, which is why many misinterpret it as a cure for the virus. 

“But it is a pain reliever and Paracetamol lowers fever. Therefore, it is commonly used by Covid-19-positive patients to relieve fever, headache, body aches and joint pain caused by the Covid infection,” he said. 

Divulging about how a Covid-19 patient is treated after discovery, Dr. Tshokey said after a positive test, the person is classified as asymptomatic or mild, moderate, severe or critical.

Those who fall into the asymptomatic or mild category are treated in isolation facilities outside the hospitals (which could be a hotel, an institution, a school or a community centre). 

They are all monitored by a healthcare professional (usually a nurse) and sometimes assisted by Dessup. They are provided with basic symptomatic and supportive medications, such as acetaminophen for fever, cough medicine, and multivitamins. 

Those who have a moderately severe infection may be taken on a case-by-case basis to a hospital isolation centre, where they are evaluated by a physician and monitored for a few days before being transferred to isolation outside the hospital until the isolation period is completed.

Some of these individuals may be treated with Covid medications, depending on the risk and severity of the infection. 

The third category (severe/critical) is transferred directly to hospital isolation and is examined and monitored by a team of doctors and nurses for 24 hours, as in a normal hospital. 

They are provided with Covid medications and other therapies for severe illness. Some in this group may need oxygen therapy and also treatment in the Intensive Care Unit.

Meanwhile, a 39-year-old businesswoman from Samdrup Jongkhar, who recently recovered from the Covid-19, said she did not feel she was infected with the virus as she did not feel anything unusual except for an uncomfortable feeling in her nose. 

Another recovered patient said he had to take about two Paracetamols to bring down the fever. 

Dr. Tshokey said that Paracetamol is given by dose and not routinely, and there is no separate dose for the Covid-19. If one has fever or body aches, it is prescribed at the recommended dose.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu