The World Health Organization has announced that it is suspending tests of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 patients due to possible side effects. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), made the announcement on Monday, but said that more data on the active ingredients of malaria medication hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine should be evaluated.
In the wake of the worsening coronavirus pandemic, hydroxychloroquine has been touted as a key drug in the treatment and eradication of COVID-19. As a result, the demand for hydroxychloroquine has skyrocketed in the past few weeks.
The Coronavirus pandemic has struck hardest in the Ultra-orthodox communities in upstate N.Y, and in Israel, the city of Bnei Brak. In Bnei Brak, with 200,000 Jews, almost all religious, one out of every third resident tested for Coronavirus has been found positive. Special measures have been taken by the government to separate the elderly members of the community.
People are buying antimalarial drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, in massive quantities as the Covid-19 crisis spurs panic-buying and self-medicating. The problem emerged following US President Donald Trump’s recent suggestion that antimalarial drugs had some of the prerequisite properties needed in Covid-19 treatment.