Presidency adviser on health matters Dr Bernard Haufiku said he has engaged his contacts at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva to gauge their views on the authenticity of the video clip that went viral on how hydroxychloroquine was allegedly successfully used to treat patients with coronavirus.

Haufiku, who served as the national coordinator of the Covid-19 task team, said he received a lot of queries from the public regarding the claims in a video made by an American doctor.

“I have received many questions regarding a video clip circulating on social media in which an African doctor, apparently based in Houston, Texas, US, is making a very strong clinical case on how she and her colleagues at a certain health facility in US have successfully treated patients diagnosed with and suffering from SARS-CoV-2 or Covid-19 disease as we all know it. I haven’t got a definite answer on the questions either in support of or refuting the doctor’s claims and statement in the clip,” Haufiku noted.

However, Haufiku said the solidarity study preliminary reports indicated that hydroxychloroquine was too toxic to patients and as a result it was withdrawn by WHO on the recommendation of the panel of expert that forms the Data Safety Review Board for the trial.

“All I know is that hydroxychloroquine was part of the WHO list of medications that were undergoing clinical trials in a large study called Solidarity Trial. This is what I know of hydroxychloroquine at the moment. Lastly, I have sent a note to some of my contacts at WHO in Geneva this morning [Tuesday] to hear their view on the video clip that went viral on social media. Hopefully they will revert to me soonest.”

He explained that most of these medicines, including hydroxychloroquine, have been studied as repurposed drugs, meaning the medicines were originally produced for a different illness. Chloroquine is an ancient anti-malaria product that has been used to treat disease infection over the years and it comes either with hydroxyl or phosphate sub-unit called moiety in chemistry. Haufiku enlightened both forms of chloroquine were made for the treatment of malaria parasites not Covid-19 or any viral infection originally.

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