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Complications with hydroxychloroquine unseen in Oman

6 Jun 2020 By SHADDAD AL MUSALMY

While healthcare providers and scientists around the world are trying to find treatment for COVID-19, the use hydroxychloroquine as a treatment of COVID-19 in ‘some’ patients has come under intense scrutiny. However, experts in Oman say they have not seen any serious complications associated with its use. 

“Around 326 patients with COVID-19 in Oman were administered hydroxychloroquine and we have not seen any serious complications in their condition,” Dr Feryal bint Ali al Lawati, senior consultant of the Communicable Disease Control Unit at The Royal Hospital, said.

She affirmed that no deaths associated directly with the intake of this medicine have been recorded. In Oman, a different dose is taken compared to doses revealed by the studies that warn about this drug,” she said.

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) resumed its trial of hydroxychloroquine after temporarily halting research over safety concerns.

On convalescent plasma treatment, Dr Feryal said, “Convalescent plasma treatment has been used on 40 patients till now. Of these, 28 patients have benefited from this treatment whereas the remaining patients are awaiting results, as the patient needs 14 days till the results are evident.”

Commenting on whether coronavirus is getting weaker, Dr Feryal said that there is no scientific evidence on the issue. “There is no scientific evidence that the strength of the virus is getting weaker,” she said.

Dr Feryal also rejected media reports that people who recovered from COVID-19 contracted the disease a second time. “The cases that got the virus for a second time announced by media needs to be proved by a scientific study.”

WHO had temporarily suspended clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19 after publication of a study in The Lancet, which indicated that using the drug on COVID-19 patients indicate a higher mortality rate.

Since then, however, The Lancet has retracted that study. And a new research by Oxford University suggests that hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work on COVID-19 patients. 

“If you are admitted to hospital, don’t take hydroxychloroquine,” said Martin Landray, deputy chief investigator of the Recovery Trial and professor of medicine and epidemiology at Oxford University. “It doesn’t work,” the Guardian quoted him saying.

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