On the 18th of March, a report from France claimed that a combination of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Azithromycin is effective in treating COVID-19 patients. On 19th, United States President Donald Trump confirmed the same in a press conference.
According to the study commissioned by French Government and published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, a combination of anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin, an antibiotic that fights bacterial infections like skin infection, respiratory infection, ear, and eye infections and sexually transmitted disease, showed promising results in the treatment of 36 positive COVID-19 patients.
Conducted at Marseille and led by Phillipe Gautreta, the study showed that 100 percent of the patients treated with the combination of medicine were tested negative and cured within 6 days of infection.
Phillipe Gautreta and his team treated 20 of the 36 patients with 600mg of Hydroxychloroquine daily in a hospital setting. Later, depending on their symptoms, the combination of the medicine was given. As a part of the study, the remaining 16 patients were not given the drug. The patients were kept under observation and after 6 days, only 5 percent of the patients carrying the combination of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin carried the infection.
Trump Backs the Chloroquine
On 19th March, a day after the French study was made public, United States President addressed the media and put his bet on an old anti-malarial drug that contains chloroquine. He said that the early results are encouraging and also announced that the government would make the drug available very soon.
However, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases, corrected Trump’s claim that the results so far have only been anecdotal and hence the reliability is not encouraging enough to go ahead with it.
While the French confirmed the effectiveness of the drug on March 20th, they categorically made a differentiation and underlined that Hydroxychloroquine is more effective than chloroquine as claimed by the Americans.
This has been a significant development in regard to the ongoing fight against the deadly virus that has caused havoc on the world and brought it to a standstill. A positive development like this should boost the morale of the medical professionals, several governments and the common people.