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Chloroquine Drug Only Effective For COVID-19 Treatment At Early Stage – NAFDAC DG

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Mojisola Adeyeye
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Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has explained that chloroquine drug is only effective for the treatment of the dreaded coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the early stage of infection.

Adeyeye stated this during a virtual news conference in Abuja, on Tuesday, noting that the chloroquine drug was misconstrued to be an absolute remedy for COVID-19 when it was announced useful at its clinical trial stage.

“On March 20, this year, I had a press briefing. At that time, people did not understand what clinical trial treatment meant. Once they hear treatment, they think you can use it anyhow. But clinical trial treatment is a research study to see whether the drug will work or not,” she said.

“In the press briefing, I said I was going through literature to see what others have done and I saw in a particular literature, a reliable publication of an article, about chloroquine and remdesivir.

“They said in the cell culture, remdesivir and chloroquine killed COVID-19 viruses, that is, invitro – in the laboratory. But you cannot translate that to humans unless a clinical trial is done.

“I kept looking. About two weeks or so later in early March; there was a publication where 100 patients were treated with chloroquine across ten hospitals in six cities, including Wuhan. It said that all of them recovered from the symptoms. They called it that time pneumonia symptom.

“In the cells; in the lab, remdesivir and chloroquine killed COVID-19. We did not know that the disease has four stages that include pre-exposure, early-stage, severe stage and post-infection.

“At what stage would they be more effective? We didn’t know at that point. Now, we are realising that chloroquine is effective at the early stage.”

Continuing, the NAFDAC DG said, “When we now got the profile of remdesivir, what was recorded in literature and from the manufacturer was that remdesivir doesn’t work at the early stage. It works at the late stage.

“But when viruses are in the tube in the laboratory, you won’t know which is late or which is early. Both killed them. We now understand that it is not only one drug that can be effective for COVID-19, but it depends on the stage and the phases of the disease.”

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