Covid-19: NAFDAC orders emergency production of chloroquine for possible treatment of Coronavirus

By Amara Christa

The Director-General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC),Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye has Ordered an immediate production of Chloroquine for Possible Clinical Trial Treatment of Coronavirus.

The Managing Director gave the order in a statement released on Monday stating that it was necessary to manufacture more stock just in case more people become exposed and infected with the virus since the drug has shown to be effective in controlling the disease.

Adeyeye, also advised that people should desist from its use without the guidance of a medical doctor or clinician, stating that an abuse of the drug could lead to gastrointestinal upset, blurred vision, headache, and pruritis (itching).

She said,” As stated in my press briefing on March 20, 2020, NAFDAC is giving expedited provisional approvals for the manufacture of any commodities for preventing or contracting the disease, (sanitizers) drugs or medical device that could be used for the clinical trial testing and treatment of COVID-19 pandemic.

”The Agency had reduced the 120 working days for approval to 10 days due to the crisis.

”The products should have been previously reported for clinical trial treatments in reputable scientific journals or technical literature as safe and effective.

”Other researchers in France, US have used the drug for clinical trial treatment of COVID-19 and they reported effectiveness of the drug.

”Lagos State will be starting a clinical trial on chloroquine to evaluate the effectiveness.

”Chloroquine works by increasing endosomal pH from the acidic environment required for virus/cell fusion, resulting in the inhibition of infection of SARS-CoV.

” It also interferes with the glycosylation of cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. This may inhibit the virus-receptor binding and terminate the infection.

” The antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects of chloroquine contribute to the efficacy in treating COVID-19 patients.

”NAFDAC advises the public to desist from its use without the guidance of a medical doctor or clinician for cases of clinical trial treatment of COVID-19.

” It has side effects such as gastrointestinal upset, blurred vision, headache and pruritis (itching).

”The itching can be relieved by using antihistamine. Prolonged use can also cause retinopathy or vision impairment.

”The Agency, will ensure that the clinical trial protocol guidelines are followed.

”I wish the clinical research teams great success in stopping the raging pandemic.

”The mandate of NAFDAC is to safeguard the health of the country.

Meanwhile, the State Council of China during a press briefing said that chlorine showed to be effective and was safe to be used in the treatment of the coronavirus disease.

According to the Chinese State Council, the test was used in ten hospitals in Wuhan, Jingzhou, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Ningbo and on 100 patients and it showed that chloroquine phosphate could be effective in controlling pneumonia associated with coronavirus disease.

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