Drugs Controller General of India(DCGI) has approved Itolizumab, a drug used to cure skin ailment psoriasis for “restricted emergency use” to treat COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress, officials said.

Considering the unmet medical needs to treat Coronavirus, DCGI Dr V G Somani, approved monoclonal antibody injection Itolizumab, an already approved drug of Biocon, for restricted emergency use for the treatment of “cytokine” release syndrome in moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome patients due to COVID-19, according to officials.

“The approval was given after its clinical trials on COVID-19 patients in India was found satisfactory by the expert committee comprising pulmonologists, pharmacologists and medicine experts from AIIMS, among others, for treatment of cytokine release syndrome,” news agency PTI quoted an official as saying.

“It is already an approved drug of Biocon for treating psoriasis for last many years,” the official said.

Written informed consent of each patient is required before the use of this drug, he added.

Meanwhile, India recorded its highest single-day spike of 27,114 new coronavirus cases and 519 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing the total tally to over eight lakh with a tota of 22,123 deaths, according to Health Ministry’s data.

Alarmingly, the country added one lakh cases in merely four days. On Tuesday, the tally had surpassed the grim mark of seven lakh cases.

According to the data, out of a total of 8,20,916 cases, 5,15,385 patients have recovered while 2,83,407 remain active in the country. With more Covid-19 patients recovering, the gap between the number of recovered cases and active cases has increased by two lakh.

The rate of recovery of the Covid-19 patients has touched 62.42 per cent. Fatality rate has declined to 2.72 per cent. India, however, remains the third worst-affected country after the US and Brazil.

During the last 24 hours, 2,82,511 samples were tested, as the testing lab network continues to expand. As on date, more than 1,169 labs have enabled people to undergo coronavirus tests.