Three out of the four COVID-19 patients have been cured with a novel combination of medicines used for the treatment of swine flu, malaria and HIV in Rajasthan's biggest government hospital, the Sawai Mansingh Medical College and Hospital in Jaipur.
NDTV reported that doctors at the hospital said that they have noted the progress in treating an Italian couple, admitted on February 28, with a combination of the anti-viral drugs and "is now on the road to recovery".
"First they used malaria drug chloroquine and swine flu medicines and then HIV drugs which are part of the protocol for restricted health use, it's a published paper. It seems to be working," Rohit Singh, Rajasthan Health Secretary was quoted as saying.
Andrey Carly, 69, and his wife visited Jaipur with 23 other tourists from Italy.
Officials reported that Carly has "responded very well" to the treatment by the team of doctors despite a history of lung diseases, while his wife has already tested negative for coronavirus after over two weeks of treatment.
Doctors at the hospital stated that their experience in treating patients affected by swine flu which had spread widely in Rajasthan two years ago came in handy in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak situation.
The doctors have shared their data and experiences with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - the top body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research - but are yet to conclude anything.
According to them, it is too early to claim that this is the scientifically established line of treatment for coronavirus. More trials will be required to attain that.
"The Italian patient reported to us on the 28th. He is a senior citizen, 69 years of age, with a history of lung disease, breathlessness, and we were worried about him," Dr Sudhir Bhandari, the principal of SMS Medical College principal was quoted as saying.
"We have been handling swine flu - which is similar pulmonary pneumonia and fatality causing disease - for the last few years. So we knew how viral pneumonia behaves. So we had a meeting to strategies our approach to these patients. We checked up literature and there was a definite clue. We could use the same drug - one was Oseltamivir which we use for swine flu. We even used an anti-malarial drug and two more drugs that can be used against coronavirus," he added.
CM Ashok Gehlot took to Twitter has to congratulated the doctors.
"Happy to share, three corona patients including two senior citizens with comorbid issues at SMS hospital, Jaipur have been treated successfully & their test reports are now negative. My heartiest compliments to SMS doctors & staff for their commendable & dedicated service in treating corona patients," he wrote.
The number of positive cases of COVID-19 in India hit 110 on Sunday, March 15, after 26 new cases were reported - the highest single-day rise so far. The new cases include 18 from Maharashtra, two from Telangana, three from Kerala and 1 each from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
So far, 13 people have recovered and two have died in India. With 32 positive cases, Maharashtra is the worst-affected in the country. With 22 cases, Kerala has the second-highest number of cases.
Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak: Italy Records 368 Deaths In 24 Hours, Cases In India Hit 110