MEGATV.GE has published an article entitled “The Coronavirus has been defeated – What are reports from France?” According to the article, people are celebrating defeating COVID-19 in France based on the information of Georgians who live there. The tests being carried at Marseille University hospital where the chloroquine drug is being successfully used for medical treatment is the reason for the celebrations. The article reads that Professor Raoult, who worked on the drug, confirms the defeat of the coronavirus.
Chloroquine phosphate, in short “chloroquine” and its derivative, hydrochloroquine, which go under the brand name of Plaquenil, are used to treat malaria. As stated by the US President Donald Trump, chloroquine is an effective medicine for fighting the coronavirus and it can be a potential game-changer. As stated by the Director of US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the aforementioned drug has not yet undergone controlled clinical trials and, therefore, it was early to make any definitive statement about it.
As stated by Tengiz Tsertsvadze, Head of the Controlled Clinical Trial Group on Coronavirus in Georgia, Plaquenil was included in the recommendations issued by the French – the so-called Marseille Protocols. Plaquenil is used for treatment in Georgia as well. Tengiz Tsertsvadze stated on air on Imedi TV: “It was very important and, honestly, we had a little celebration at work because of what Trump said yesterday and we have been doing that for one-and-a-half months. Since 24 March 2020, Plaquenil has become a part of the ‘Georgian Protocol’ to treat COVID-19. In addition, French Professor Didier Raoult really uses chloroquine for the coronavirus treatment and studies its effectiveness.”
Although this medication is used for the treatment of the coronavirus in different countries, including Georgia, it is still early to talk about chloroquine beating the coronavirus. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues studying the effectiveness of chloroquine. So far, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not yet approved chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19.
Given the lack of consensus within the scientific community, obviously there is still not enough evidence to prove the effectiveness or the ineffectiveness of chloroquine. Of note is that the drug should not be administered without a doctor’s prescription. Three people in Nigeria and one person in Arizona, US have died from chloroquine.
Therefore, MEGATV.GE making a definitive statement about beating the coronavirus is wrong and misleads readers.