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health
Sunday Mar 22 2020
By
Web Desk

No evidence of chloroquine curing coronavirus, clarifies Dr Zafar Mirza

By
Web Desk
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza addresses a press conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 22, 2020. Geo News/Screenshot

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Sunday said there was no evidence to suggest that the medicine chloroquine was effective in preventing the coronavirus, clarifying that the government was consulting experts in this regard.

Read more: Pakistan records fourth coronavirus death, nationwide tally of confirmed cases at 685

Addressing a press conference, Dr Mirza said reports were rife that chloroquine could be used to treat coronavirus. 

"We are consulting experts on whether chloroquine can be used to treat the [corona] virus," he said.

However, there is no evidence to suggest that using chloroquine will prevent one from contracting the coronavirus, he told reporters.

The prime minister's aide noted that there was a ban on the export of anti-malaria drug. He said that Pakistan had ample stock of chloroquine.

Dr Mirza provided the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan and explained the province-wide breakdown. "The suspected coronavirus cases total 5,650, among them the confirmed stand at 646. Three people have died of coronavirus so far.

"Sindh has 292 cases, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 31, Gilgit-Baltistan 55, Azad Jammu and Kashmir one, Islamabad Capital Territory 11, Punjab 152, and Balochistan 104," he added.

The special assistant to the prime minister said the data was "compiled through extremely reliable monitoring" and that it would be updated on the government's website on an hourly basis.

"We will train 5,000 doctors to treat coronavirus," he added.