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30 March, 2020
 
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Cyprus evaluating effectiveness of chloroquine drug against coronavirus

Chloroquine is a cheap, ordinary drug which is widely available in Cyprus and currently being used in China to treat the virus

Newsroom / CNA

A consultative committee of experts at the Cyprus Ministry of Health is evaluating the effectiveness against coronavirus of the drug chloroquine, used to treat coronavirus in China and widely available in Cyprus.

According a member of the committee and professor of microbiology and molecular virology at University of Nicosia Medical School, Petros Karayiannis, though there have been no publications on the particular drug in scientific journals, signalling limited research, the group of experts is conducting its own research to tests its effectiveness.

“The Consultative Committee’s sub-group has taken it into consideration, off course an evaluation of data must be made and we should not just read what has been published or written on the internet, which may not correspond to reality,” Karayiannis noted.

The expert explained that all data must be evaluated before the Health Ministry can go ahead with a possible use and or production of products containing the substance chloroquine.

Karayiannis said that chloroquine is an ordinary drug which is widely available in Cyprus and is very cheap, noting that local pharmaceutical companies are able to produce it if necessary.

Regarding the development of a vaccine against the virus, Karayiannis said efforts are in a very good stage, with two vaccines currently being tested on humans.

“We have moved past animal testing and therefore depending on what tests show on humans, they will then proceed with its production, if indeed, it is effective,” he said, noting however that the vaccine is not expected to be ready in less than a year’s time.

Karayiannis explained that the difficulties in the production of a vaccine is that billions of vaccines need to be produces, with companies unable to meet demand.

Regarding the rising number of confirmed cases in the Republic of Cyprus, Karayiannis said that the rise is not sharp, noting that the situation remains manageable.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  coronavirus  |  drug  |  medicine  |  chloroquine

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