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02 June 2020, 15:01

Belarus suspends use of chloroquine for COVID-19 outside of hospitals

MINSK, 2 June (BelTA) – Approaches to using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients will be revised taking into consideration the WHO's recommendations, BelTA learned from the press service of the Healthcare Ministry.

“The Healthcare Ministry has issued a resolution to suspend the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine outside of hospitals. These drugs will be administered exclusively in hospital settings under strict medical control. The approaches to using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine will be revised taking into consideration the final position on this matter of the World Health Organization and most reputable medical associations,” the press service noted.

On 21 May the Healthcare Ministry passed Resolution No. 557 to improve diagnostics and treatment of coronavirus patients. The commentary to the resolution is available on the website of the Healthcare Ministry. According to the ministry, the document defines new approaches to using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients. Within the next two weeks the WHO is expected to explain is final position on this matter. The control over the use of hydroxychloroquine has been toughened and this matter is under control in Belarus.

A reminder, the World Health Organization suspended trials on using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to prevent and treat COVID-19 as part of the Solidarity international clinical trial. Director General of the World Health Organization Tedros Ghebreyesus noted that an observational study was published on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine and their effects on COVID-19 patients that were hospitalized. The authors reported that among patients receiving the drug, when used alone or with a macrolide, they estimated a higher mortality rate. The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally.

WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan noted that the final decision will be announced in the coming two weeks. “We should be proactive on the side of caution and suspend enrollment temporarily into the hydroxychloroquine arm,” she told reporters.

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