Morocco has decided to use chloroquine, an inexpensive antimalarial, for the treatment of patients suffering from Covid-19 disease, we learned Tuesday from an official source in Rabat.
A circular from the Moroccan Ministry of Health, sent Monday to hospitals and regional health directors, calls for “the introduction of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (two antimalarials) in the therapeutic management of confirmed cases of Covid-19”.
“Efforts have been made to ensure the availability of these drugs,” added the ministry in this note, which however calls for “rational management of stocks”.
Rabat last week asked the Moroccan subsidiary of the French group Sanofi to hand over its entire stock of Nivaquine and Plaquenil, drugs that contain chloroquine.
To make their decision and establish a therapeutic protocol, the authorities consulted with a technical and scientific committee which recommended a combination of chloroquine and azithromycin, a macrolide antibiotic, according to the ministerial note.
Chloroquine, inexpensive and used for several decades, is often recommended when traveling to areas infested with the malaria parasite, transmitted by certain mosquitoes.
On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO), however, called for caution regarding chloroquine, due to the small number of patients treated so far by this means.
After a series of trials in China, France decided Monday to administer this treatment to patients suffering from “severe forms” of Covid-19 disease, but not to “less severe” forms. US President Donald Trump told him about a possible “gift from heaven”.
The Moroccan Minister of Transport, Abdelkader Amara, tested positive for Covid-19 on March 14 after returning from a mission in Europe, had already confided in taking Nivaquine, a “drug indicated in the treatment of malaria, made in Morocco” .
“My state of health and stable, I have no fever, no respiratory symptoms. The headaches have almost disappeared. I just feel a little tired,” said the minister, confined to his home.
Morocco, in a state of health emergency since Friday evening, today has 143 officially declared cases, including four deaths and five remissions, but with less than 800 tests conducted in total. The country has three screening centers and 1,642 intensive care beds for 35 million inhabitants.