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WHO releases new COVID-19 treatment guidelines

By News Desk

As part of measures aimed at ensuring effective treatment protocols for coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised clinicians to use low-dose anticoagulants on COVID-19 patients to prevent blood clots.

Low-dose anticoagulants, among others, were part of the fresh clinical advice issued by the world health body on Tuesday for treating COVID-19 patients, including those displaying persistent symptoms after recovery.

WHO Spokeswoman, Margaret Harris, said that the new guidelines also placed importance on the treatment protocols for patients being treated at home, adding that the use of pulse oximetry must be adopted in their treatment.

Addressing a United Nations briefing in Geneva on Tuesday, Harris said that the new guidelines had been introduced building on the gains already recorded against the virus.

“The other things in the guidance that are new are that COVID-19 patients at home should have the use of pulse oximetry, that’s measuring the oxygen levels, so you can identify whether somewhat at home is deteriorating and would be better off having hospital care,” Harris told the briefing.

The WHO spokesperson, however, advised clinicians to put patients into the awake prone position, on their front, shown to improve the oxygen flow.

“Also we recommend, we suggest the use, of low-dose anticoagulants to prevent blood clots from forming in blood vessels. We suggest the use of lower doses rather than higher doses because higher doses may lead to other problems,” Harris said.

She added that a WHO-led team of independent experts, currently in the central Chinese city of Wuhan where the first human cases were detected in December 2019, is due to leave quarantine in the next two days to pursue its work with Chinese researchers on the virus origins.

She declined to commment on reports of delays in the roll-out of vaccines in the European Union. She said that she had no specific data and the WHO’s priority was for health workers in all countries to be vaccinated in the first 100 days of the year.

AstraZeneca, which developed its shot with Oxford University, told the EU on Friday it could not meet agreed supply targets up to the end of March.

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