France, Italy and Belgium act to stop use of hydroxychloroquine COVID-19 treatment

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Photo/Reuters

On May 27, European governments decided to stop using the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat patients with COVID-19, Reuters reports.

In addition, the second global trial was suspended, undermining hopes for a drug that is being promoted by U.S. President Donald Trump.

“The actions taken by France, Italy and Belgium followed the decision of the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 25 to suspend a large test of hydroxychloroquine for safety reasons,” the report reads.

After reports that this antimalarial drug may help some patients, regulators in several countries have allowed the use of hydroxychloroquine as a potential COVID-19 treatment.

Trump was a particularly ardent supporter of the drug. He also said that he took this drug daily to prevent coronavirus infection.

However, the British medical journal The Lancet said that patients with coronavirus taking hydroxychloroquine are more likely to die and experience dangerous heart problems.

Thus, the French government ordered French doctors no longer prescribe hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus. However, hydroxychloroquine will continue to be used against malaria and lupus.

The Director General of the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR), Balram Bhargav, stated that hydroxychloroquine has no serious side effects and can be used as a prophylaxis of coronavirus. But at the same time, India accounts for 70% of the global production of hydroxychloroquine. Its production has recently increased along with rising demand following Trump’s statements.

Read also: Trump insulted Congress Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her comments over coronavirus medicines he takes.

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