Covid Treatment: Homegrown nasal spray gives hope
A group of scientists and doctors of Bangladesh Reference Institute for Chemical Measurements and Dhaka Medical College hospital claimed they developed a nasal spray that could reduce the viral load of coronavirus.
Bangasef Oro-Nasal Spray can be administered orally or nasally, they said.
They said they had done clinical trials on 200 patients at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital and found the results promising.
The study was conducted between May and October last year. People aged between 20-50 years participated in the clinical trial. The male-female ratio was 70:30.
"We have conducted the trial and found the outcome very promising," Mala Khan, acting director general of BRICM, told The Daily Star last night.
When asked how this spray worked, she claimed that the virus mainly travels through and stays primarily at nasopharynx and oropharynx and if the solution is sprayed every three hours, the virus load at those places will be reduced.
"The greater the virus load, the greater the risk of severity," she said.
The acting DG also claimed that the main benefit of the solution was that it helped contain community transmission.
She said they have already applied for a patent and will apply to Bangladesh Medical Research Council on Thursday for a formal trial.
The research team is comprised of 12 members, including Mostafa Kamal Arefin, Brig Gen AKM Nasir Uddin, Sheikh Nurul Fattah Rumi and Sultana Sahana Banu.
The estimated cost of the Bangasef Oro-Nasal Spray would be around Tk 100 for a 25ml bottle.
The issue came to the fore when it was placed before the parliamentary standing committee on the science and technology ministry.
When contacted, Awami League MP and Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on Ministry of Science and Technology, AFM Ruhal Haque told The Daily Star that BRICM has told the committee that they have prepared "Covodine Iodine Solution", which reduces the viral load of Covid-19.
The parliamentary standing committee has asked BRICM to investigate further on the solution and carry out clinical trials on more people.
Ruhal said as far as they know, use of such sprays did not take place in other countries.