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Will Malaria drug Chloroquine indeed help fight COVID-19 as Algeria takes the lead?

By Julius K. Satsi

March 24, Accra- Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not approved the use of Chloroquine as a definitive medication for the treatment of the prevailing COVID-19, Algeria’s Health Minister has authorized that hospitals could use in treating patients infected with the coronavirus.

A statement from the Ministry said however that the old anti-malaria drug should be used in certain cases of COVID-19.

The treatment consists of three medications, two of them locally-produced antibiotics, and one imported drug, Health Minister Abderrahmane Benbouzid told reporters.

He said Algeria has enough stock of treatment for 200,000 COVID-19 patients, noting the treatment should be applied on confirmed infections only.

Chloroquine is one of the oldest and best-known anti-malarial drugs – though it is no longer recommended in much of Africa because of the resistance built up to it by the malaria parasites. In the past years, it had been used in treating malaria patients, the drug has been used to reduce fever and inflammation.

The Algerian health authorities on said COVID-19 infections rose to 230 while the fatalities are 17, but no new deaths had been reported during the past 24 hours.

In the past week, there was an uncertainty over whether the United States had approved the drug to treat coronavirus. But the body licensing medicines in the US said it was still being considered.

Seventeen people have died of Covid-19 in Algeria, which currently has 230 cases of coronavirus with 54 per cent of them in the province of Blida, south of the capital Algiers.

The Algerian Government closed all borders, suspending public transport between cities and banned flights and ferries.

As the world continues to search for the cure for COVID-19, we can only wait to see the result that comes from using the old anti-malaria drug to treat the corona virus.

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