Coronavirus patients in Lahore show encouraging results after antimalarial drug use

COO Mayo Hospital says eight recovered coronavirus patients indicated improvement due to the drug


LAHORE: Different hospitals across Punjab have started administering antimalarial drugs after they showed promising effects on the patients who recovered from coronavirus, according to Chief Executive Officer Mayo Hospital Dr Asad Aslam.

Recently, the US drug authority had approved limited, emergency-based use of two antimalarial drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, for treating coronavirus patients.

According to Dr Aslam, in the last 15 days, eight coronavirus patients have recovered after being administered the drugs at Mayo Hospital, indicating encouraging results.

The doctor told that after China, now the hospitals in Punjab are also benefiting from the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.

Meanwhile, a Punjab government spokesman said that the government has acquired more than 50,000 antimalarial tablets.

Punjab, has so far, witnessed 740 coronavirus cases, with nine deaths.

Read more: What is Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine?

It is pertinent to mention that soon after the drugs gained limelight, it vanished from medical stores across the country, despite them not being validated through definitive clinical trials.

The drugs had also gained open appreciation from US President Donald Trump. 

Trump said last month that the two drugs could be a "gift from God," despite scientists warning against the dangers of overhyping unproven treatments.

According to an  AFP report, many researchers including Anthony Fauci, the United States' leading infectious disease expert, have urged the public to remain cautious until larger clinical trials validate smaller studies.

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are synthetic forms of quinine, which is found in the barks of cinchona trees of Latin America and has been used to treat malaria for centuries.

Some in the wider scientific community have cautioned more research is needed to prove that they really work and are safe for COVID-19.