St Vincent warns against using antimalarial drugs to treat COVID-19

Health authorities in St Vincent are warning nationals against using the 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 it clear that he thinks two drugs should be deployed to deal with the virus.

But his 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.

Possible treatment

In a statement, the 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.

“The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment strongly urges the rational use of drugs while we await confirmation by the United States Food and Drug Administration regarding the safety and efficacy of both hydrochloroquine and chloroquine in the fight against COVID-19, should we need to use them for this purpose.