A clinical evidence is suggesting that Chloroquine Phosphate, a widely-used anti-malarial and autoimmune disease drug, can be effective in combating coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to Xinhua, the state-run news agency, Sun Yanrong, deputy head of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development, disclosed this at a press conference on Monday.
Yanrong said the new discovery was based on clinical evidence from hospitals drawn across Beijing, Guangzhou and Hunan Province, which showed the drug has a curative effect on the deadly disease.
“In the trials, the groups of patients who had taken the drug have shown better indicators than their parallel groups, in abatement of fever, improvement of CT images of lungs, the percentage of patients who became negative in viral nucleic acid tests and the time they need to do so,” she said.
“Patients taking the drug also take a shorter time to recover.”
Buttressing her point, Yanrong cited the instance of a 54-year-old patient in Beijing, admitted to hospital after earlier showing symptoms but was tested negative a week after using the drug.
“Over 100 patients have shown no signs of side effects,” she said.
“Zhong Nanshan, who led the expert team, also said that Chloroquine Phosphate can be used to treat more COVID-19 patients.”
According to the state-run China Global Television Network (CGTN), Chloroquine phosphate has been “unanimously” approved by experts in the Asian country to be used in the fight against the deadly virus.
It has also been suggested that the drug be included in the next version of the treatment guidelines and applied in wider clinical trials as soon as possible.
The development comes after earlier findings that Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is effective in treating patients diagnosed.
Over 64,000 cases of the disease have been recorded worldwide, with about 1,800 deaths, since the disease broke out. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had earlier declared the outbreak a global health emergency, appealing for $675 million to fund a three-month response plans.