Health Ministry: No official recommendation to use chloroquine

Nelson Teich also talked about the record high in deaths from COVID-19

Published in 24/04/2020 - 10:45 By Agência Brasil - Brasília

During a press conference at the Planalto presidential palace, Brazil’s Health Minister Nelson Teich said the minister still does not know whether the 407 deaths—a new record, observed in the last 24 hours—is a trend or the result of a higher number of diagnoses than in previous days.

“We assess what’s going on everyday. If it’s an upward trend, the number for the coming days will increase and we’ll say this is not the result of a specific effort,” he stated.

On social distancing measures, Teich said constant monitoring is necessary, but advocated that relaxing isolation rules should may be important if it does not hinder efforts to combat the pandemic. “We’re going to have to map figures on a daily bases and devise strategies for going out, which does not mean we’re going out tomorrow. We argue for what’s best for society. If that’s isolation, so be it. If we can make things flexible, making people autonomous, without impacting on [infections], this is what’s going to happen,” he added.

Chloroquine

During the interview, Teich also talked about the meeting with representatives from the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM) this Thursday (23) at the Planalto palace on the use of chloroquine in the treatment against COVID-19. The alternative is fostered by President Jair Bolsonaro.

According to the minister, CFM restated that the tests conducted in both other countries and Brazil still show no scientific evidence of the effectiveness of the chloroquine in the treatment against COVID-19. The council, however, reiterated the guideline according to which each doctor may choose to prescribe the drug to patients infected with the novel coronavirus.

Nelson Teich noted that no recommendation has been made by the Health Ministry, as no scientific base has been established on the effects of the medication on patients. “To allow medical use does not mean it is a recommendation by the Health Ministry. It will come when we have clear scientific evidence on how it operates. This is a permit,” he pointed out.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Liliane Farias / Nira Foster

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