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COVID 19: BARRING A CORONAVIRUS VACCINE, HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE CONTINUES TO BE A TEMPTING ALTERNATIVE DESPITE EXPERTS WARNING

Since the advent of the novel Coronavirus, scientists and medical experts have been working round the clock to find a vaccine and cure for this disease that has nearly crippled the world economies and altered the lifestyle of millions of people globally. 


As COVID 19 rage on, statistics show that some countries have fared better than others in terms of mortality rates and the records of the number of confirmed Coronavirus infected patients despite the fact there is no known cure for Coronavirus. 


Until a COVID 19 cure is found, the controversial malaria drug -Hydroxychloroquine continues to be a tempting alternative despite experts warnings on its possible side effects. 

Hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis became a popular drug of choice in treating Coronavirus when the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump touted the drug to be used to treat Coronavirus. 

Tons of studies have been carried out to prove the efficacy of the claim. The World Health Organisation also embarked on a solidarity trial of Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. 

READ ALSO: PASSENGERS COMING INTO NIGERIA WOULD UNDERGO COVID-19 TEST - PTF CHAIRMAN

 However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in June said it stopped the solidarity trial of Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 based on evidence showing that Hydroxychloroquine does not reduce mortality for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. 

A recent study also published in The New England Journal of Medicine also found that Hydroxychloroquine administered either alone or in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin did not improve the conditions of hospitalized patients with mild-to-moderate Covid-19.


TRUMP, NIGERIA, INDIA AMONG THOSE USING HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE

Despite experts warnings, President Trump says is taking Hydroxychloroquine to protect against the Coronavirus.

 Evidently, more people are also turning to the drug despite concerns about its adverse effects. 


In May an Indian health Ministry advised frontline workers, including the police to take Hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID 19 infection.

 

Doyin Okupe, a Nigerian politician who survived Coronavirus disease in May, said the drugs he used were a combination of Hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, Zinc sulphate and vitamin C. 


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On Thursday, July 23, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force in Nigeria Boss Mustapha confirmed that the country received a donation of 7 tons of Hydroxychloroquine from India for the treatment of persons infected with the Coronavirus.


FACEBOOK TWITTER AND YOUTUBE PULL DOWN 'MISLEADING' VIDEO ON CORONAVIRUS 

On Monday, July 27, social media giants: Facebook, Twitter and Youtube pulled down a viral video featuring a group of doctors making 'dubious' claims related to the Coronavirus


In the video, a group of doctors who claimed to be under the aegis of American frontline doctors spoke in front of the US Supreme court in Washington DC. 

A black spokeswoman, now identified as Dr Stella Emmanuel, a Cameroonian who studied at the University of Calabar in Nigeria claimed that she has treated up to 350 coronavirus patients using Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc and Zithromax. 

Screenshot of Dr Stella Emmanuel speaking in front of the US Supreme Court.


According to her, all of the coronavirus patients she treated recovered. 

She alleged that studies which claimed to show Hydroxychloroquine as ineffective for the treatment of Covid-19 are "fake science" sponsored by "fake pharma companies."

She further claimed that Americans do not need to wear masks to prevent the Coronavirus, negating the basic COVID 19 prevention guidelines of the World Health Organisation and other public health officials. 


The video, published by the right-wing media outlet Breitbart News, quickly went viral and was shared by the US President Donald Trump. 


 Facebook took down the video after it had gone viral with over 14 million views and nearly 600 000 shares, according to Crowdtangle, a data-analytics firm owned by Facebook.

"We've removed this video for sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19," a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to CNN.

Twitter also cleared the potentially misleading video after President Trump shared versions of the video to his over 84 million followers. 

As of Tuesday morning, the videos were no longer able to be viewed on his account.

Likewise, YouTube ensured that users could no longer view the viewers from Monday night. Although the video had been viewed on Youtube over 40,000 times before it was pulled down for "violating YouTube's Community Guidelines."


Time will reveal whether the claims on Hydroxychloroquine are true or false. But until a cure and/or vaccine is discovered, preventive measures like social distancing, and handwashing, and the use of facemask remains the only option to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.


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