Chloroquine allowed by France to treat gravest virus cases: minister

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 24 2020 08:17 AM

Chloroquine allowed by France to treat gravest virus cases: minister 1
French rescue team wearing protective suits carry a patient on a stretcher from Mulhouse hospital before being loaded into a helicopter as France faces an aggressive progression of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), March 23, 2020. Christian Hartmann, Reuters

PARIS - The anti-malarial drug chloroquine can be administered in France to patients suffering from the severest forms of the coronavirus but only under strict supervision, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Monday.

Citing a ruling adopted after a meeting of France's high public health council, Veran said the drug could not be used to treat milder cases of the illness.

Some researchers have said chloroquine shows great promise as a treatment, though scientists have agreed that more trials are needed to determine if the drug is really effective and safe.

"The high council recommends not to use this treatment... with the exception of grave cases, hospitalized, on the basis of a decision taken by doctors and under strict surveillance," Veran told reporters.

President Donald Trump has said the US is fast-tracking chloroquine for use as a treatment but other voices have urged prudence over its effectiveness.

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