For the first time, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has admitted that chloroquine can kills COVID-19 virus at the early stage.
The Director-general of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, who stated this at a virtual press conference Tuesday in Abuja, also said that remdesivir, a product of Gilead Sciences Inc, has been shown to kill the virus at late stages.
According to her, it is now understood that not only one drug that can be effective for COVID-19 but it depends on the stage and the phases of the disease.
She, however, noted the cost for treating COVID 19 patients with chloroquine was way cheaper than remdesivir as remdesivir cost $2,500 to treat an average patient, while chloroquine only cost $10.
“Remember, remdesivir and chloroquine work in the cells. Chloroquine was proven to work in 100 patients. We did not know at that time that the disease has about four phases – pre-exposure stage, early stage, mild stage, and the severe stage.
“In the cells, in the lab, remdesivir and chloroquine killed covid-19. At what stage would they be more effective? We didn’t know at that point. Now we are realising that chloroquine is effective at the early stage.
“I was watching CNN about 4 or 5 days ago, and there is this surgeon – Sanjay Gupta. he mentioned that chloroquine can be used prophylactically. This is in the US. All the while he had always said it was not effective. Literature is proving it; science cannot lie. We have mixed science with politics and many people are dying across the world.
“Now we are talking of remdesivir. We met with Gilead – the maker of remdesivir about two months ago and they came. They said they have licensed their drug to five Indian companies and one Pakistani company. To treat an average patient will cost about $10 with chloroquine and cost about $2,500 with remdesivir.
“When we now got the profile of remdesivir, what was recorded in literature and from the manufacturer was that remdesivir doesn’t work at the early stage. It works at the late stage. But when viruses are in the tube in the laboratory, you won’t know which is late or which is early. Both killed them. We are now understanding that it is not only one drug that can be effective for COVID-19 but it depends on the stage and the phases of the disease.
“Let me tell you about chloroquine again in terms of West Africa. West African Health Organisation (WAHO) is stationed in Burkina Faso and the Director-General said that they heard (in early or late March), that several people that had COVID-19 infection in Senegal recovered using chloroquine.”
Adeyeye further stated that some African countries like Ghana, Togo and Senegal were using chloroquine for a clinical trial, saying “It will be a very interesting study to see the death rate relative to the population and to find out what were they using because if something is effective prophylactically, it means that disease will not progress. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.”