Friday, July 10, 2020
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Thousands sign French call for chloroquine in coronavirus fight

MORE than 215,000 people have signed a petition urging French officials to let more doctors prescribe the anti-malaria drug chloroquine for coronavirus patients, a controversial proposal that has divided health experts worldwide.
Support for the treatment has gained ground as doctors try to keep the COVID-19 outbreak from overwhelming hospitals, with some saying early use of chloroquine and similar treatments could keep symptoms from worsening to the point that intensive care is needed. France has reported 8,078 deaths and 92,839 infections.
The French petition on the website was launched on Friday by a group of doctors including Philippe Douste-Blazy, a cardiologist and former French health minister.
On Monday, three of France’s most respected doctors penned an open letter backing chloroquine use despite the absence of randomised and peer-reviewed studies on its efficiency.
In the absence of anti-virals for the new coronavirus, “we think it is legitimate, given preliminary results, to implement a new strategy,” the doctors wrote in Le Figaro newspaper.