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The scientists claimed that after six days, all infected patients treated with Chloroquine and Azithromycin were ‘virologically cured’.
Chloroquine is a common and cheap anti-malaria drug used in most countries, particularly in Africa to cure malaria infection. Though, banned in Nigeria since 2005, it is still being used in other parts of the continent.
The Chinese authorities and South Korea also recognised the use of Chloroquine as an antiviral treatment that could ‘decrease the viral replication’ and possibly reduce victim’s stay in the hospital and recovery from the virus.
A consensus of medical experts at Department of Science and Technology, Guangdong Province and Health Commission of Guangdong Province released last week on 12 March, recommended 500mg twice daily chloroquine phosphate tablet for victims usage for 10 days.
Though, yet to be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – the US body responsible for regulating health and human services, Rigano, however, proved further authenticity of the discovery by sharing publicly the peer-reviewed study earlier released by Didier Raoult, also a Medical Doctor.
“Use of chloroquine (tablets) is showing favourable outcomes in humans infected with Coronavirus including faster time to recovery and shorter hospital stay,” Rigano stated in the treatment document released last week on 13 March.
“US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) research shows that chloroquine also has strong potential as a prophylactic (preventative) measure against Coronavirus in the lab, while we wait for a vaccine to be developed. Chloroquine is an inexpensive, globally available drug that has been in widespread use since 1945 against malaria, autoimmune and various other conditions.”
Yesterday, Wednesday 18 March, the scientist appeared on Fox News, a popular television station in the US to analyse the research outcome.
WHO identifies chloroquine, three others for clinical trial
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reportedly listed chloroquine among four drugs identified for a multinational clinical trial as part of efforts to find a cure to the pandemic.
The trial is code-named solidarity trial.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General said the four drugs or a combination of an existing drug used to cure other ailments would be tested while 10 nations already signified interest in the clinical trial.
“The drugs to be tested are antiviral drug remdesivir; a combination of two HIV drugs – lopinavir and ritonavir, lopinavir and ritonavir plus interferon beta and the antimalaria drug chloroquine,” report says. “All show some evidence of effectiveness against SARS-CoV 2 virus, which causes Covid-19, either in vitro and/or animal studies.”
The participating nations also include France, Iran, Argentina, Norway, South Africa, Bahrain, Canada, Thailand, Spain and Switzerland.
It is expected that more nations would indicate interest.
Since the outbreak in Wuhan, China, Tedros put the global casualty figure due to the COVID-19 virus at 5,000 people.
On 14 March, he described the deaths as a “tragic milestone,” identifying Europe as new epicentre of the virus.
Nigeria has so far recorded seven cases while six are currently under observation.