US President touts anti-malarial drug as potential treatment for coronavirus

Washington D.C. [US], Mar 20 (ANI): As the number of coronavirus cases in the US continued to rise, President Donald Trump on Thursday said that hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, can potentially be effective for treating coronavirus.

The US President said that the drug would be made available almost immediately to treat coronavirus.

"It has shown very, very encouraging early results. We are going to be able to make this drug available almost immediately... by prescription. There are a lot of reasons that I have to believe... that it could have a very positive effect," Trump said at a White House briefing, according to Sputnik.

CNN cited Trump as saying that he has pushed the Food and Drug Administration to eliminate barriers to getting therapeutics for coronavirus to patients.

"It's been around for a long time so we know if things don't go as planned it's not going to kill anybody," CNN quoted the US President as saying.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US surged past 10,000 and the death toll crossing 100.

"We have to remove every barrier or a lot of barriers that were unnecessary and they've done that to get the rapid deployment of safe, effective treatments and we think we have some good answers," Trump said.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, however, said: "That's a drug that the President has directed us to take a closer look at as to whether an expanded use approach to that could be done and to actually see if that benefits patients. And again, we want to do that in the setting of a clinical trial, a large, pragmatic clinical trial to actually gather that information."

CNN in its report said early evidence from human cells suggests that chloroquine may have some activity against coronavirus. (ANI)