Claims that hydroxychloroquine could prove a viable treatment for Coronavirus have been dealt a new blow after France stopped doctors from using the anti-malarial drug for Covid-19 patients. But where is it still being used and who is continuing to research it?
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration allowed “emergency use” in hospital settings, but warned against using to treat Covid-19 in other settings – apart from clinical trials – because of the risks of heart problems.
Brazil has relaxed restrictions on the drug, allowing it to be used in mild cases as well as for those seriously ill in hospital.
And the Indian government has expanded its use as a preventative medicine to all healthcare workers
No clinical study has recommended the drug for coronavirus treatment and the World Health Organization this week temporarily suspended its trials over safety fears.
But other studies are under way, including one by Swiss drugmaker Novartis in the US and a global study by the University of Oxford-backed Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Thailand.
Also, Nigeria has vowed to press ahead with clinical trials of the related drug chloroquine despite the WHO decision.