Chloroquine To Prevent and Cure Covid-19 Infection (Q & A)


" Discovered by an Italian scientist in 1934, clinical trials in 10 hospitals in China showed that Chloroquine is effective against Covid-19."


Coronavirus continues infecting people all across the world with more than 9 million confirmed Covid-19 cases. Over 470,000 people have lost their life to coronavirus. Scientists have been urged to develop vaccine as soon as possible, nevertheless, the general public need to be well informed that vaccine for Covid-19 may not be available within the next 12 months or even longer. In the meantime, all scientists and governments should be wise enough to focus on alternative ways to save more lives from this deadly disease.

The list of country with the highest number of deaths due to Covid-19 (as per 23rd of June 2020 10:32 GMT):


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China has cured more than 78,000 Covid-19 patients

In China where the coronavirus outbreak started, the government has successfully cured more than 78,000 Covid-19 patients since the first infection was reported in Wuhan on 1st of December 2019. One of the drugs that has been used in China to fight off the coronavirus infection is Chloroquine.

What Is Chloroquine?

Chloroquine is a drug that has been used for over 70 years to treat and prevent malaria. In addition to its antiviral properties, Chloroquine is also known for its anti-inflammmatory effects that can be used effectively for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus. Discovered by Hans Andersag, an Italian scientist in 1934, Chloroquine is very cheap to produce, costing about US$0.04.


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Can Chloroquine Prevent and Cure Covid-19?

Clinical trials in 10 hospitals in China showed that Chloroquine is effective against Covid-19. It has been shown to reduce the severity of Covid-19 pneumonia and shorten the infection period. Chloroquine has been listed as one of the recommended drugs in the Guidelines for the Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Pneumonia Caused by COVID-19 issued by the National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China. 

While the use of Chloroquine for Covid-19 patients may be justified, to take this drug to prevent coronavirus infection is a step too far.

Is It Safe to take Chloroquine for Coronavirus?

According to data from clinical trials in China, the use of Chloroquine for Covid-19 at 50% and 90% concentration has not been associated with any severe adverse effect. As per 28th of March 2020, FDA in the US has authorised the use of Chloroquine for Covid-19. This controversial decision was triggered by the extremely high number of coronavirus infections and deaths in the US that already surpassed those of in China. 

There has been an increasing number of hospitalisations and reported deaths associated with the use of Chloroquine to prevent and cure Covid-19. Chloroquine should not be used to prevent or cure Covid-19 without guidance from the Covid-19 medical experts. In the United Kingdom, Chloroquine is not yet listed as the recommended drug for Covid-19. There are ongoing clinical trials in the UK for the safety use of Chloroquine for coronavirus infection.

What Are The Potential Side Effects of Chloroquine?

Over decades, the use of Chloroquine as a drug has been associated with various side effects such as skin rash, diarrhea, loss of appetite, liver damage, muscle damage, vision loss, low blood cell levels, seizures and premature deaths. There was a case in Korea where a patient suffer from retinal damage due to Chloroquine use for lupus erythematosus (Korean Journal of Ophthalmology)

I am in agreement with the UK's decision to wait until clinical trials have been completed before recommending Chloroquine for Covid-19. To limit the general pubic's exposure to serious side effects of Chloroquine, the UK government may consider to use it for critical Covid-19 patients only.


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Scientific sources: Breakthrough: Chloroquine phosphate has shown apparent efficacy in treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia in clinical studies, BioScience Trends Advance Publication, DOI: 10.5582/bst.2020.01047; Chloroquine, Wikipedia; Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as available weapons to fight COVID-19, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents; Retinal Damage in Chloroquine Maculopathy, Revealed by High Resolution Imaging: A Case Report Utilizing Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy, Korean Journal of Ophthalmology (KJO), 2014 Feb, 28(1), 100-107; FDA grants emergency authorisation to chloroquine for COVID-19, Letter of Authorixzation, Re: Request for Emergency Use Authorization For Use of Chloroquine Phosphate or Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate Supplied From the Strategic National Stockpile for Treatment of 2019 Coronavirus Disease, FDA, March 28 2020; Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine not licensed for coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment, 25-March-2020, UK Government; Trump touted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for Covid-19. Don't believe the hype, The Guardian, 28 March 2020; Vital drug for people with lupus running out after unproven Covid-19 link, The Guardian, 27 March 2020; ‘This is insane!’ Many scientists lament Trump’s embrace of risky malaria drugs for coronavirus, Science, 26 March 2020.


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