Express News Service
KOZHIKODE: Thanks to an ENT physician’s ‘discovery’ of nasal drops which can ‘resist Covid’ and a prominent vernacular daily reporting it, a medical store in Koyilandy here is making a quick buck. E Sukumaran, a Koyilandy-based senior ENT surgeon and former deputy director of health department, has claimed that nasal drops — the ‘medication’ has a 25 per cent glucose content — can eliminate the coronavirus from the throat itself.
He also claimed that his findings had been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), which has forwarded it to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). “ The PMO had informed me that the ICMR had deputed Tripti Khanna, a scientist, to conduct further studies on it. But I never claimed that my findings were approved by either the PMO or the ICMR,” said Sukumaran.
Though scientists and the medical fraternity have outrightly rejected Sukumaran’s claims, calling them highly unscientific and totally misleading, what happened in Koyilandy was that people thronged a drug store which started selling this glucose-based nasal drop. A 15 ml bottle was priced at `50 in the beginning. Later, the price was slashed to `30 and now it is being sold for `20. This medical store has special licence which allows it to sell drugs manufactured by mixing the components.
“People queue up in front of the medical store to buy the drug. Though many of them were aware that it doesn’t prevent Covid, they are convinced that it will not cause any side effects either. The drug store is the biggest beneficiary of this fake discovery,” said a health department source. However, the biggest threat posed by this drug is that it will give a false sense of Covid immunity to gullible people and instigate them to breach Covid protocol. This correspondent bought the bottle directly from the said store without prescription. Along with the drug, there was also a piece of advice on how to administer it: “Two droplets in each nostril twice daily.”
Meanwhile, after coming to know of the ‘miracle discovery’ through TNIE, the state drugs controller has ordered a probe. Sujith Kumar K, Assistant Drugs Controller, Kozhikode, told TNIE that he had sent two of his officials to investigate the matter. According to him, he will see to it that the nasal drop is not sold without a doctor’s prescription. “We cannot prevent the sale of glucose water if there is a prescription as it is being used for other purposes such as drip. But it cannot be sold as a remedy for Covid,” he said.
K P Aravindan, pathologist and member of the expert panel on Covid-19, said no glucose containing water is used as nasal drops for any illness. “Bodies like the IMA should issue an advisory against such fake Covid drugs,” he said.