Trump directs FDA to use anti-malaria drug to treat Covid-19

Washington, March 19 (IANS) US President Donald Trump on Thursday said that chloroquine, a drug used to treat malaria, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be tested for coronavirus treatment.

At a White House briefing, Trump said the US would be able to make the anti-malaria drug available “almost immediately” and that “it’s been approved.”

FDA, however, has not approved chloroquine for use in treating coronavirus yet, several media reports claimed after Trump’s briefing.

According to Forbes, the FDA took a more measured approach to the possible use of the drug.

Stephan Hahn, head of the FDA, said, “We are looking at everything that’s coming across our desks as possible treatment options for coronavirus.”

A study published by Nature this week found that Hydroxychloroquine, a less toxic derivative of chloroquine, was effective in stopping a Covid-19 infection in vitro.

Trump, however, said the FDA has had “very encouraging early results” in tests on Covid-19.

The US has reported at least 7,701 coronavirus cases and 118 deaths so far.



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