Chloroquine drug used since first wave, says Noor Hisham

The director-general of health, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, says Malaysia is taking part in clinical trials of a new drug to treat Covid-19

PUTRAJAYA: The anti-malarial drug chloroquine has shown its efficacy in the treatment of Covid-19 patients since the first wave of the outbreak in Malaysia, the director-general of health, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, said.

He said the drugs’ anti-inflammatory properties were effective in treating Covid-19 which causes inflammation of the lower respiratory tract.

Noor Hisham said a similar anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and a combination of antiviral drugs lopinavir and ritonavir had also been used in the treatment of patients in Malaysia.

There had been promising results but further research was still required.

Noor Hisham said the number of deaths from Covid-19 had increased as the patients who succumbed were either elderly, had comorbidities such as high blood pressure and kidney disease, or had sought treatment at a later stage or after they began having breathing difficulties.

Noor Hisham said the ministry would also focus on the latest drug, remdesivir, which is also part of a joint study with the World Health Organization involving many other countries,” he said.

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