Could chloroquine treat coronavirus? 5 questions answered about a promising problematic and unproven use for an antimalarial drug.

An employee in Nantong, China, checks the production of chloroquine phosphate, an old drug for the treatment of malaria. Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

An Arizona man died, and his wife was hospitalized, after taking a form of chloroquine, which President Trump has touted as an effective treatment for COVID-19. The couple decided to self-medicate with chloroquine phosphate, which they had on hand to kill parasites in their fish, after hearing the president describe the drug as a “game changer.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of NIH’s National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, quickly corrected the statement, explaining that Trump’s comments were based on anecdotes and not a controlled clinical trial.

Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. @realDonaldTrump

I am a medicinal chemist who specializes in discovery and development of antiviral drugs, and I have been actively working on coronaviruses for seven years.

However, because I am a scientist and I deal in facts and evidence-based medicine, I am concerned about the sweeping statements the president has been making regarding the use of chloroquine or the closely related hydroxychloroquine, both antimalarial drugs, as cures for COVID-19. So let’s examine the facts.

What are chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine?

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Coronavirus: ‘Nature is sending us a message’, says UN environment chief

“There are too many pressures at the same time on our natural systems and something has to give,” she added. “We are intimately interconnected with nature, whether we like it or not. If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves. And as we hurtle towards a population of 10 billion people on this planet, we need to go into this future armed with nature as our strongest ally.”


New South Wales reaches more than 500 cases of COVID-19 with 97 new infections By Sarah Thomas

Figures published by the health department showed that as of 8:00pm on Saturday there were 533 positive cases.

NSW Health said several new diagnoses of COVID-19 had occurred among backpackers in the Bondi area.

It is warning that some new cases in Bondi are linked to two parties last weekend.

People who attended the Boogie Wonderland party at the Bucket List bar in Bondi and another event at Club 77 in Darlinghurst on March 15 are urged to be alert for symptoms.

If symptoms develop they should seek testing and tell the medical service that they attended one of the parties.

A childcare worker is also among the latest confirmed cases.

The employee worked at Smeaton Grange Young Academics Child Care Centre.

All staff and children who attended the centre between March 2 and 16 are being contacted and told to self-isolate.

The centre will be closed until March 30.

Two more cases have also emerged from a Sydney Church of Christ service on March 8 at Ryde Civic Centre, bringing the total to nine out of a congregation of 300.

NSW has of 8:00pm yesterday had 52,663 cases tested with 52,130 excluded.

Out of the 533 cases, 251 were acquired overseas, 131 were acquired through contact with a confirmed case, 46 came from unidentified contact and 105 are under investigation.

There have also been five cruise ship voyages linked to COVID-19 cases that have docked in Sydney this month: two trips on the Voyage of the Seas, and the Ovation of the Seas, the Ruby Princess and Celebrity Solstice.

All passengers and crew have been asked to self-isolate.

The latest rise in cases comes as authorities struggle to maintain social distancing, particularly across Sydney’s beaches including Bondi Beach which was closed yesterday.

Due to high numbers of people gathering the following beaches have also been closed: Manly (south end), Tamarama, Maroubra, Bronte, Coogee, Clovelly, Dee Why, Freshwater, Long Reef and Palm Beach.

The Northern Beaches Council warned that more public areas would be closed “if people don’t follow the rules”.

Yesterday, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard insisted people heed advice on social distancing amid the rising number of infections.

He said cases had doubled in the past week and the problem was still “over the horizon”.

“Save yourself and save your family. Listen to the messages that are coming out, not just from Government officials but from doctors.”

A ban on travel to Lord Howe Island was also announced yesterday and came into effect at 5:00am today in a bid to keep the virus away from the small community of 347 people.

The borders are closed to all except residents, health workers and other essential service workers.

Uta’s March 2020 Update

A few days ago my blogger friend Judith said: “Quarantine and self-isolation are words that chill me. I am one of those people who are out and about most days. The thought of being confined to the house scares me.”

Here is what I answered: I reckon self-isolation can be a good thing if you want to read and write more. I am sad that at present I cannot hug my loved ones. Self-isolation means, they cannot visit me at my home. I am with Peter, my husband, who is suffering from bladder cancer and a heart condition. When we need new supplies, they’ll be left at the door. It is a blessing though that we can still see all our children on the phone! Here in the Illawarra is perfect summer weather right now, and this is very enjoyable indeed. 🙂

People’s Assembly Statement on The Coronavirus Crisis


“The people are ahead of the government in making serious moves to combat the spread of the coronavirus. It is clear the government were pushed by organisations already taking action to close down large events, a move we very much welcome. Where government refuses to act civil society institutions, trade unions, and ordinary citizens are taking matters into their own hands. We reject the ‘herd immunity’ theory that coronavirus can simply be left to rip through society until enough people develop immunity. Not only is there no proof this will happen with this virus, it is the most deadly and careless approach the government could take. The government should be acting on World Health Organisation guidance and learning from those countries it commends for swift and decisive action. Older and vulnerable people matter as much as everyone else. We insist the government alter course immediately and implement the following measures:

1. Close all schools, universities and colleges. Government and Local Authorities to work with schools to develop plans to get food to children who would have been entitled to free school meals.

2. Mass testing and tracing, which World Health Organisation experts have suggested is more effective in the early stages.

3. Workers should be allowed to work from home where possible. Introduce a mortgage and rent freeze for the duration of the crisis for those workers denied their full pay.

4. Extend statutory sick pay to all workers. Following successful pressure on the government to give sick pay from day one for those affected by the virus. Statutory sick pay should be uplifted to a living wage.

5. Pensioners on low-incomes, low income workers and disabled people to be eligible for one-off grants to cover food, fuel and travel costs.

6. Scrap the assessment period for Universal Credit and make payments immediately. Sanctions for benefit claimants who don’t attend appointments should be scrapped. Universal Credit payments should be topped up to account for extra costs of preparing for virus and moving to shut down.

7. Price controls to be introduced on essential medical equipment and drugs. There must be no hiking of prices on masks, ventilators, isolation units, beds, basic supplies like soap and hand towels, as well as drugs to combat bacterial complications etc.

8. Private hospitals to be put under the management of the NHS. Essential equipment owned by private companies should be pooled as part of the overall effort; private hospital beds should be treated as public.

9. Cleaners are a vital frontline, as are NHS staff. They should both be given an immediate pay boost to attract more cleaners, nurses, hospital porters and administrators. All workers should have the protective clothing necessary in line with TUC guidelines.

10. No scapegoating of Chinese people, Italians, immigrants or anyone else. An emergency programme of aid and refugee resettlement should be initiated across Europe.

11. The outbreak must not be used as a pretext for clamping down on civil liberties. Frontline public sector workers, especially health workers, should be brought in at the highest level of decision making. The trade unions should be part of the conversation with civil servants and senior NHS staff.”

Thunberg: ‘Indigenous Peoples Lead the Fight Against Crisis’

By teleSUR

07 February 20

Meanwhile, Brazil’s Bolsonaro facilitates business activities in the Indigenous Peoples’ Amazonian lands.


he Fridays For Future (FFF) movement activist Greta Thunberg praised the role of Indigenous peoples in the fight against global climate change during a demonstration in Jokkmokk, Sweden, on Friday.

“We must give voice to Indigenous peoples around the world because we depend on them, even if we don’t want to accept it,” Thunberg said.

The organization Saminourra reported how the effects of climate change affect the Lapps’ daily lives, especially reindeer herding, a fundamental activity in the culture of the Sami, an Arctic Indigenous people of about 80,000 persons who are spread across Norway, Russia, Finland, and Sweden.

“We are in a serious climate crisis and the Indigenous people are the ones who are first and most affected,” Thunberg stressed.

“They lead the fight and are the ones who resist the most. They are the front line. We support them.”

The founder of the FFF movement also recalled that solutions to climate-related environmental problems should include the knowledge of Indigenous peoples “who live from and with nature.”

Licypriya Kangujam


Today completed my 1 year of protests in front of the Parliament House of India to pass a climate change law in India. Delhi Police & other securities threatened me to detain / arrest if not leaving the place. But I did it. I told them, “Arrest me if you can!”

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Thunberg’s positive appreciation for indigenous traditional knowledge, however, is not shared by those who work in favor of transnational corporations.

On Thursday, Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro presented a bill to facilitate agribusiness, mining activities, oil extraction, and hydroelectric construction in Indigenous peoples’ territories located in the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest.

In response to the harsh criticism that his bill is receiving, the former captain said that he would like to lock environmental activists in the Amazon, which meant an ironic allusion to what South American dictatorships used to do with leftist political prisoners who were sent to prisons in the jungle.

“Are we going to suffer pressure from environmentalists? Someday, if I can, I confine them to the Amazon because they like nature very much. Stop bothering here in the cities,” Bolsonaro said, as reported by local outlet Petroleo E Gas.