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France Bans use of Hydroxychloroquine for Coronavirus Treatment

The French Government Wednesday banned the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the country with Hydroxychloroquine. The ban came on the heels of the World Health Organization (WHO) suspension of its planned solidarity trial with the malaria drug across the world.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus  director general of WHO had earlier said that “hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria” while announcing a “temporary pause” on the use of the drug.

However, some nations including Brazil said it would not change its recommendation to treat COVID-19 infection with regard to hydroxychloroquine despite the WHO’s directive.

US President Donald Trump has touted hydroxychloroquine as a wonder drug to treat patients as he announced that he himself was using it, surpsing many in his own administration. Brazil is one of the hardest hit countries in Latin America with 24,512 deaths and 391,222 infection cases.

In the last 24 hours, Brazil recorded 1,039 deaths which was the fourth time when the daily death toll crossed 1,000 in the South American nation.

Like Trump, Brazil President Bolsanaro has also lauded the use of hydroxychloroquine even though the US FDA has cautioned against possible side effects of the virus.

The medical jounrnal Lancet had triggered a debate after it published a report which said patients who had taken the antimalarial drug had a significantly higher risk of death compared with those who did not.

For those given hydroxychloroquine, there was a 34 per cent increase in risk of mortality and a 137 per cent increased risk of a serious heart arrhythmias, the report said.

By Sally Ahmed

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