Kenya approves chloroquine for treatment of coronavirus
London, April 1, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The Kenyan government has approved the use of one of the oldest anti-malarial drugs chloroquine to treat coronavirus, according to Citizen TV.
But it will only be given to critical patients, Health Director General Patrick Amoth is quoted as saying.
Algeria and many African countries have also approved the use of chloroquine to treat patients infected with coronavirus.
Dr Amoth said at the moment there were no critical cases to warrant such an intervention. Most cases are mild and the authorities are treating the symptoms for now, he is quoted as saying
The country’s Pharmacy and Poisons Board has banned the sale of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine over the counter at pharmacies.
This was after what the board described as a rush to stock up the drugs after the US President Donald Trump hyped the medicine as treatment for coronavirus.
Medical experts say chloroquine requires further clinical study and might not be the cure of Covid-19.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. An outbreak of a new strain, given the name 2019-nCoV and known as novel coronavirus, was identified in China in late December 2019. The virus causes the disease Covid-19.
As of 25 March 2020, there were more than 4000,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide, and close on 19,000 people had died from the disease.
China has in a “consensus” report recommended that “treating the patients diagnosed as novel coronavirus pneumonia with chloroquine might improve the success rate of treatment, shorten hospital stay and improve patient outcome”.
But they called for more research into its claimed efficacy while there have been reports of official Chinese warning of its toxicity.