Covid-19: Malaysia to continue using hydroxychloroquine after WHO halts clinical trials

Medicine and healthcare. — file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

KUCHING, May 26: The Health Ministry will continue to use the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine in trials and to treat Covid-19 patients with caution and monitoring against any side effects, director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.

Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) has temporarily halted their clinical trials for further review, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry has been and is still monitoring it closely.

“There were concerns on possible side effects to the heart and vision from using hydroxychloroquine, but every drug has its side effects.

“Hydroxychloroquine is still being tested for its effectiveness in slowing worsening symptoms, for example, preventing category one and two patients from developing symptoms to category four or five,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham pointed out that hydroxychloroquine’s side effects include abnormal heartbeats and blurred vision but the ministry’s medical experts are looking into and gathering data to determine the drug’s effectiveness. — DayakDaily