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#CheckTheFake-25: Use of HCQ for Covid-19 is a stale tale

April 25, 2020

Gaga over the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for Covid-19 control is unfortunately not an inspiring tale to tell.

Hydroxychloroquine is a medication used for prevention and treatment of malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and porphyria cutanea tarda. It was widely prescribed in 1980s as cases of malaria began to increase in India.

The idea of using the tablet for novel coronavirus came from two small studies in China and France, and some anecdotes of successful treatments, including the case treated in Jaipur (where it was used in combination with Oseltamivir, Lopinavir 200 and Ritonavir).

But it was not sufficient, more testing was required before the approval from the government. Even WHO, have not approved the use of either chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment or prevention.

Even the ICMR released a statement on March 23 recommending use of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medicine for those who face a high risk of coronavirus infection. It specified its use for only two high risk categories of Covid-19 – which later on recommended chemoprophylaxis with hydroxychloroquine (400 mg twice on day 1, then 400 mg once a week thereafter) for asymptomatic health-care workers treating patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, and for asymptomatic household contacts of confirmed cases.

Since India deals in one of the highest production spot for hydroxychloroquine, the expected lines between the clinical debates in search of an antidote to the pandemic earns HCQ a little space of recognition for some time across the globe.

And this has been beneficial on part of the export policies of India during this crisis situation. India waste no time in demonstrating confidence on its own production and immediately helped altogether 13 countries across the world by supplying the tablet on first come first serve basis.

The world witnessed a major setback with the purchase of HCQ in large quantity and using it for Covid-19 control. Countries like USA came across more deaths being reported among those who were given the much-touted anti-malarial drug according to a report, though it was not sufficient to either recommend or oppose the use of this tablet for Covid-19.

But it is still recommended for the prevention and treatment of malaria.

FAKE: Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is recommended for treatment of Covid-19.

FACT: WHO has not recommended any antidote or antibiotics for containing the spread of Covid-19 yet. Research is still going on.

#CheckTheFake is a movement against #Infodemic in this crisis, initiated by Dr Anamika Ray Memorial Trust #ARMT ( in collaboration with The Assam Tribune and Northeast Now ( to create awareness on #fakenews on #Coronavirus and improve media literacy through #Cartoons. ARMT Research

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