COVID 19: France, Italy and Belgium ban usage of hydroxychloroquine

WION Web Team Paris, France May 28, 2020, 09.14 AM(IST)

Hydroxychloroquine Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Donald Trump and Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele have both publically announced that they have been taking hydroxychloroquine.

European Union countries -- France, Italy and Belgium -- have expressed their displeasure about using hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment. 

Paris, on Wednesday, revoked a decree allowing doctors to use the drug for severely ill coronavirus patients. The Italian and Belgian officials have asked the concerned authorities to suspend the usage of the drug, except in clinical trials.

Also read: After Trump, El Salvador's President says he is taking hydroxychloroquine

The drug, which is being used as a treatment for critically ill coro navirus patients, is believed to have safety concerns. However, US President Donald Trump and Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, have promoted the usage of the drug.

These countries are not the first ones to object against the usage of this drug. World Health Orhanization (WHO), few days ago, suspended a global trial of hydroxychloroquine, citing safety concerns. Oxford University, too, followed the suit and paused a global trial within a week of starting it.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus earlier said that "hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria."

A research by France’s Pasteur Institute suggested 98% of people with mild coronavirus developed antibodies capable of neutralising the virus a month later, raising hopes that everyone who has had the disease may enjoy some immunity.

Donald Trump and Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele have both publically announced that they have been taking hydroxychloroquine. Both the Presidents have bene heavily criticized and trolled for this admission.

An observational study published in the Lancet of nearly 100,000 patients in 671 hospitals has suggested hydroxychloroquine – promoted by the controversial French infectious diseases specialist Didier Raoult – might increase mortality rates.

(With inputs from Reuters)