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Fact Check: No, ICMR didn’t prescribe Ivermectin drug to prevent Covid-19

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Summary

The viral claim is false that ICMR in its guidelines specified the use of Ivermectin drugs for both preventions as well as treatment of COVID-19. However, the UP government advised its health officials to use Ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19 and it's not an ICMR guideline.

A social media post claiming that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in its guidelines prescribed the use of Ivermectin drugs for both preventions as well as treatment of COVID-19 is getting viral on social media. 

A Facebook user name kamal Saida shares the post with a claim that "New guidelines of ICMR for C-19 released on 6th Aug for prophylaxis Tab. IVERMECTIN 12 mg. On Day 1, Day 7 & Day 30. 2 hrs after dinner. Followed by every 30 days 1 tab of 12mgtill pandemic is over. To be taken by all high-risk people & frontline health workers. It will reduce the severity of disease & fatality in 80-90%. For positive asymptomatic & with mild symptoms. Tab IVERMECTIN 12 mg for 3 days along with Doxycycline (100) twice for 5 days"

   

 

Fact Check

In our investigation, we found that the viral claim is false. ICMR did not recommend any such guidelines for the use of the Ivermectin tablet in the treatment of COVID-19. The claim is circular by the Uttar Pradesh government which is falsely shared as an ICMR guideline.

When we searched on the ICMR website for any such advisory, we did not find any advisory about the usage of Ivermectin in COVID-19 treatment.

According to a news article DNA published on Aug 8, 2020, the Uttar Pradesh government has approved the use of ivermectin tablets for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. This drug will be used as a replacement for hydroxychloroquine. The drug will also be given to frontline health workers in COVID-19 hospitals, apart from people infected with COVID-19 and their contacts. However, it is nowhere mentioned that ICMR prescribed this drug in the treatment of COVID-19. 

We also found an Uttar Pradesh government circular dated 06 August 2020 which specified the dosage and use of Ivermectin for both preventions as well as treatment of COVID-19 in the state of UP. However, nowhere in this circular, it is mentioned that ICMR prescribed this drug in the treatment of COVID-19. The ANI UP also tweeted the same. The tweet reads, "Uttar Pradesh government recommends tablet 'Ivermectin' for prophylaxis in contacts and in health care workers and for treatment of asymptomatic to mild symptomatic #COVID19 patients." Nowhere in the tweet mention that ICMR prescribed this drug in the treatment of COVID-19

The specifications regarding the dosage and usage of the drug in both the UP government circular and in the viral post are similar.  But, we can not find any credible news that reported about ICMR prescribing Ivermectin for Covid-19 prevention or treatment. With this, we can say that ICMR did not prescribe the usage of Ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19, and the UP government’s circular is falsely being attributed to ICMR.

In conclusion, the viral claim is false that ICMR in its guidelines specified the use of Ivermectin drugs for both preventions as well as treatment of COVID-19. ICMR did not prescribe any guidelines regarding Ivermectin drug usage. However, the UP government advised its health officials to use Ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19 and it's not an ICMR guideline.

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