Hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial that could be a “gift from the sky” in the fight against coronavirus according to Donald Trump, is not more effective than the existing treatments to fight the symptoms of Covid-19, according to a Chinese study .
The study, published by the Zhejiang University newspaper on March 6, looked at 30 patients with Covid-19, half of whom had taken hydroxychloroquine. After seven days, 13 of the 15 patients who followed this treatment tested negative, which means that Covid-19 had disappeared from their body. For the group that did not receive it, this figure was 14. The median time taken by the two groups to heal was significantly similar. But the sample used is too small to be considered significant.
A recent French study, involving the same number of patients, showed that hydroxychloroquine, a derivative of chloroquine (their molecules are close), was particularly effective in fighting Covid-19, especially when taken with azithromycin, an antibiotic. This study also involved a small number of patients.
Chloroquine is an inexpensive antimalarial used for several decades and marketed in particular under the name of Nivaquine. The World Health Organization calls for caution regarding chloroquine because of the small number of patients who have used it.