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As doctors and scientists around the world race to discover a vaccine or a specific antiviral medication to cure Covid-19, the Director-General of Health Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah revealed several drugs that may be used to treat Malaysian coronavirus patients.
In a posting made on Facebook, the DG said that the drugs: chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and a â€œcocktailâ€ mix of lopinavir and ritonavir, can be administered to treat those infected with the viral plague.
Chloroquine is a drug commonly used to treat and prevent Malaria. A mixture of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (called HCQ) is used to treat ailments like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and fevers.
While the drugs lopinavir and ritonavir are antiviral medication used to treat HIV and AIDS.
According to the doctor, these drugs are already registered under the countryâ€™s drug control authority, the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA)Â
Recently, United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump boasted about the potential of hydroxychloroquine as being a â€œgame-changerâ€ to cure Covid-19, even though there is no clear evidence to support its effectiveness.
Meanwhile, with Malaysia being selected by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to take part in the global clinical trial of remdesivir – a novel antiviral drug identified as a possible treatment for Covid-19 – the DG said that the NPRA was making efforts to expedite the entry of the drug to the country.
Noor Hisham also mentioned that the Health Ministry (MOH) endeavors to acquire the antiviral drug called favipiravir from available suppliers to treat coronavirus patients.
The DG also assured Malaysians that MOH was constantly monitoring supplies and adhering to strict quality control procedures for the countryâ€™s drugs and medication inventory during the pandemic.
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