ST. VINCENT – Health authorities are warning nationals against using antimalarial drugs, Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine, to treat or prevent COVID-19, even though United States President Donald Trump has been backing the drugs to deal with the virus for which there is no known cure.
Trump has made clear that he thinks the two drugs should be deployed quickly against the virus that surfaced in China last December and is blamed for more than 14,000 deaths so far.
But Trump’s own medical officials, including the heads of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have been hesitant to endorse the drugs.
In a statement, St. Vincent’s Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment said the “named drugs have been widely used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, along with its related complaints of hair loss and joint pain.
“Although both Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine have been proposed by some researchers as being possible treatments against COVID-19, this has not yet been confirmed by health and regulatory authorities,” the ministry said.