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Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine: Will these drugs help in fight against coronavirus outbreak?

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New Delhi, Apr 14: With number of novel coronavirus cases across the world is on the rise, there has been a global surge in demand for drugs that are generally used against malaria to tackle the coronavirus.

Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine: Will these drugs help in fight against coronavirus outbreak?

In recent days Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, have gained people and politicians' attention even after the World Health Organization (WHO) claimed that there is no decisive evidence that these drugs work on coronavirus patients.

Coronavirus: Govt approves export of hydroxychloroquine to 13 countries

What are Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine drugs?

In recent days, US President Donald Trump is frequently seen talking about hydroxychloroquine during the briefings in the White House. In a video that was removed by Facebook for breaching its misinformation guidelines, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro claimed that "hydroxychloroquine is working in all places".

Chloroquine is a drug that is largely seen using in treatment of malaria patients to reduce fever and inflammation. The hope is that they can also inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19.

However, there are no sufficient evidences from the current trials to use them in treating COVID-19 patients.

Countries that have authorised their use in treating COVID-19

The US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), has granted "emergency use" authorisation for these drugs in treating COVID-19 for a limited number of hospitalised cases.

However, it does not mean that the FDA claimed it work. But it means that certain hospitals can request and use the medicines from government stockpiles for use in Covid-19 treatment.

On the other side, India's Health Ministry has claimed that the recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment for healthcare workers, as well as households in contact with confirmed cases if they have a prescription from a doctor.

The India's government research body has warned against the unrestricted usage of the anti-malarial drug and said it was "experimental" and only for emergency situations.

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