The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says reliable researches and reports have provided evidence to show that Chloroquine can kill COVID-19 virus at the early stage.
The Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye on Tuesday said that Remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences Inc, has also been shown to kill the virus at late stages. She made this known during a virtual news conference in Abuja.
However, she observed that the cost for treating people with chloroquine was way cheaper than with Remdesivir. Remdesivir cost $2,500 to treat an average patient and Chloroquine is $10.
She also mentioned that countries in West Africa like Ghana, Togo, and Senegal have also embraced the clinical use of Chloroquine for treatment.
She said: “…I was going through literature to see what others have done and I saw in a particular literature a reliable publication of an article about Chloroquine and Remdesivir (that time nobody was even talking of Remdesivir). This was February of this year.
“They said in the cell culture, Remdesivir and Chloroquine killed COVID-19 viruses, that is, invitro – in the laboratory. But you cannot translate that to humans unless a clinical trial is done.
“I kept looking. About two weeks or so later in early March (this was at a time when COVID-19 was at its peak in China); there was a publication where 100 patients were treated with Chloroquine across ten hospitals in six cities, including Wuhan. It said that all of them recovered from the symptoms. They called it that time pneumonia symptoms.
“In the cells, in the lab, Remdesivir and Chloroquine killed COVID-19. At what stage would they be more effective? We didn’t know at that point. Now, we are realising that Chloroquine is effective at the early stage.”
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