Several US hospitals using HCQ in treatment of COVID 19 patients: Report

Several hospitals in the US are using antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19 positive patients, a media report has said.

MDedge, a medical publication, on Friday reported that hydroxychloroquine is currently the first-line therapy and Tocilizumab the second-line medication for people hospitalized with polymerase chain reaction-confirmed COVID-19 infection in the Yale New Haven Health System, which operates hospitals across Connecticut.

"Hydroxychloroquine is first-line at Yale because in-vitro data shows potent inhibition of the virus and possible clinical benefit, which is about as good as evidence gets at the moment," Indian-American cardiologist Nihar Desai told the medical publication.

"It's cheap, it's been used for decades, and people are relatively comfortable with it," he added.

"We are trying to do the best we can. One hopes we never have to go through anything like this (coronavirus pandemic) again," Desai told MDedge.

His home institution, Yale New Haven Hospital, is almost half full with COVID-19 patients, at more than 400, the report said.

On US President Donald Trump's request, India allowed the export of 50 million HCQ tablets to treat COVID-19 patients in America, the worst-hit country by the pandemic.

-- PTI

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