A man has died and his wife is in critical condition from ingesting chloroquine phosphate, after it was recommended by US President Donald Trump as a useful drug to treat COVID-19.

The couple shortly after taking the additive used to clean fish tanks and also found in an anti-malarial drug. The man, a resident of Phoenix, Arizona, over 60 years old, died before reaching the hospital, but his wife managed to be revived after vomiting much of the substance she had ingested.

Chloroquine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, according to The Information, but it has not yet been proven to be a useful drug for fighting the coronavirus.

It is “an additive commonly used in aquariums to clean them” using infinitely higher doses than those used in drugs, Banner Health reported in a statement, warning of the danger of self-medication. “The last thing we want to do now is flood our emergency rooms with patients who believe they have found a dangerous solution that could endanger their health,” he added.

According to the WHO, although it has not yet been approved, “there are some indications that it could be useful, but there are no clear and rigorous studies that have been conducted to prove or disprove that chloroquine is effective,” explained a WHO scientist, Soumya Swaminatha.

Trump had claimed that the Food and Drug Administration had approved the use of this antimalarial drug for use against the coronavirus, claims that were later denied due to lack of evidence for the drug.


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