As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to tighten its grip on Brazil, the country’s President Jair Bolsonaro has said that Health Ministry will issue a fresh set of guidelines on May 20, including the recommendation to use chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19.
The development comes just days after newly appointed Brazilian health minister quit under pressure to sign the new guidelines for the country. Therefore, the new protocol will be signed by the interim Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello who is an active duty army general. This comes as Brazil surpassed UK's COVID-19 cases tally to record 271,628 infections of coronavirus making it the third-most virus stricken country after the United States and Russia.
Till now Brazil has also recorded about 17,971 deaths due to the novel coronavirus and recorded the highest daily deaths in the last 24 hours with 1,179 fatalities. Siding with the US President Donald Trump’s support for the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, Bolsonaro reportedly said that he has kept a box of the medicines in case his 93-year-old mother requires it to combat the COVID-19 which he had previously referred to as "little flu".
Bolsonaro has also snubbed the social distancing measures and even doubted the governors of the country for reporting false statistics of COVID-19 infections. Brazilian President’s nod to use the unproven treatment for coronavirus infection came despite the warnings by the US Food and Drug Administration that the drug shall not be used for COVID-19 patients outside hospital or research settings as it can have fatal outcomes.
After saying that he has been taking the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection, US President Donald Trump defended his support for the unproven treatment against the criticism of medical professionals. During his visit to the US Capitol, the US President told the reporters that hydroxychloroquine “gives you an additional level of safety”. According to international reports, Trump added that “People are going to have to make up their own mind”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked the world since it was originated in China and even though infections continue to rise, there is still not an authorised vaccine or drug to treat coronavirus infection. Amid the global health crisis, Trump had not only touted the drug as “Gift of God” but said on May 19 that the decision to consume the drug is of the individual. According to him, the drug has a “bad reputation” because he is promoting its use.
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