After President Donald Trump endorsed Chloroquine to aid with coronavirus treatments, health officials in Nigeria are issuing a warning after three people overdosed.
According to CNN a Lagos state official said that extreme cautioning against chloroquine for Covid-19 for treatment needs to be considered after patients were hospitalized from poisoning.
As of Sunday (March 22) Nigeria has reported 30 cases of Covid-19.
During one of his daily White House briefings last week, Trump made a claim that the Food and Drug Administration approved the “very powerful” drug chloroquine to treat coronavirus. The president falsely stated that the drug was showing “encouraging results” and that it would be available almost immediately.
“That’s where the FDA has been so great. They’ve gone through the approval process; it’s been approved. And they did it -- they took it down from many, many months to immediate. So we’re going to be able to make that drug available by prescription or states,” he said. “Normally the FDA would take a long time to approve something like that, and it’s -- it was approved very, very quickly and it’s now approved by prescription.”
The FDA immediately issued a statement following the briefing to correct Trump’s comments saying it had not approved the use of chloroquine to fight against Covid-19 and that studies regarding its effectiveness against the disease were still happening.
The Lagos Health Ministry issued a statement on Saturday (March 21) to inform the public that there was no “hard evidence that chloroquine is effective in prevention or management of coronavirus infection.”
Dr. Michel Yao, an Africa emergency response program manager for the World Health Organization, also told CNN that there are at least 20 different drugs and the same number of vaccines under clinical trials. Yao continued saying that it is too early to make any recommendations about the effectiveness of any treatment of the virus.
“It is difficult for us to recommend at this stage that any of the medicine can be of use for the treatment of coronavirus,” Yao said. “It is too early to rush to the decision that chloroquine … at least for WHO to recommend it for the treatment of coronavirus.”
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