Hydroxychloroquine Warrants Scientific Investigation for the treatment of COVID-19

Dr. Arshed Iqbal Dar 06:41 PM | 26 Apr, 2020
Hydroxychloroquine Warrants Scientific Investigation for the treatment of COVID-19

The creation of knowledge and the dissemination of created knowledge at the right moment is the hallmark of success. If someone creates a knowledge with the aid of different parameters viz. previous research papers, expert advises, conducting a dialogue with the community, preclinical trials, and then consolidating the whole information to get the context out of the text, he or she will come out with a good strategy. But the formulation of only good strategy without its better execution will yield goose egg only.

The information about most of the drugs currently available to treat malaria is quinoline derivatives modeled on the quinine molecule, found in the bark of Cinchona spp. trees found in high altitudes of South America. This genus is said to have been named after the Spanish Countess of Chinchón who was successfully treated with the powdered bark. In the XVI century, the plant bark and seeds were taken to Europe by the Jesuits and used for centuries to treat malaria with efficacy.

Cinchona plantations were established in Java and, until the Second World War, were the source of quinine. The quinine molecule inspired the synthesis of chloroquine and this drug became the chief replacement for quinine, during the Second World War. Chloroquine was close to the ideal antimalarial drugs and was used for decades due to its high efficacy against all species of malaria parasites, its low toxicity, low cost, and high tolerance; it is still widely used to treat malaria in areas where notable drug resistance has not yet appeared.

However, Plasmodium falciparum developed widespread resistance to it, and with the development of new antimalarials, it has become a choice for the prophylaxis of malaria. Henceforth, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) sulphate, a derivative of chloroquine was first synthesized in 1946 and was demonstrated to be much less toxic than chloroquine in animals. More importantly, HCQ is still widely available to treat autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.

You know, in the absence of any promising therapy and the global public health emergency, many drugs have been tried in the treatment of COVID-19 including chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine along several antibiotics and antiviral drugs. Scientific reports created so far have suggested that a number of drugs could be potential candidates for the treatment of COVID-19, although the clinical trial of these drugs have not yet been fully evaluated and the threat of variation in the efficacy of the novel candidates is still a subject of concern for the drug designers when they move towards the clinical trial from the preclinical one. You know, without any scientific justification, Mr. Trumph mobilized the U.S government in general and the federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, in particular, to treat the COVID-19 patients with the drug cocktail viz. hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin.

USFDA at that time permits the use of the antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat COVID patients due to devoid of any approved and scientifically justified available alternative. Furthermore, scientists across the globe started a debate on unproven and untested drugs for COVID-19, whether the drugs are appropriate for treating COVID patients or not and the debate continues. As of now, none of the studies have been disseminated meeting the gold standards of promising candidates.

Scientifically unjustified prescription warrants extensive research to validate the findings. Fortunately, one fruitful outcome has come out of these debates and that is to protect the supply of these drugs for other patients who have relied on the drugs for years to control autoimmune diseases including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Pharmaceutical companies and other stakeholders manufacturing hydroxychloroquine should quickly assess the situation and make sure that the drugs remain available to those who need it. In addition, the scientific community suggested not to dispense hydroxychloroquine without a prescription.

You know, World Health Organization was founded in 1948 to serve the vulnerable community and protect them against infectious diseases and in the time of global public health emergency when the financial contribution is linchpin factor, Mr. Trumph called WHO as China Centric, COVID-19 as China virus and halt the fundings for the World Health Organization. Not only this he recently suggested that disinfectants could be used to fight the virus inside the human body and cleaning the lungs and unfortunately, Government scientists dutifully promised to investigate the unscientific innate ideas of the boss. It seems that something is shrouded in obscurity, dissemination of knowledge is camouflaged, accusations and counter-accusations are imported and exported, and the system is filled with the tissue of lies.

Dissemination of scientific information without undue delay is the key to unlock this shroud of obscurity. In this connection, a social network site for scientists and researchers has launched a new forum to facilitate collaboration between COVID-19 experts on research into beating the COVID-19, visibility of articles, pre-prints, and research proposals were boosted and this startup that has to be known as the Facebook for scientists will help in the dissemination of scientific information and our leadership must get in touch with the legitimate scientists instead of creating poppycock ideas.

In drawing things to a close, everybody is waiting for a promising candidate, Leadership is begging for the safest approaches to come out of this COVID-19 storm and one of the solutions to this grave concern is the dissemination of the right scientific information at the right time.

The writer is an Assistant Professor, Govt. Degree College Sumbal Sonawari, Jammu, and Kashmir. He can be reached at The views expressed here are his own.


KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on February 4, 2023 (Saturday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 279.9 283.2
Euro EUR 300.98 301.58
UK Pound Sterling GBP 337.01 337.71
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.14 75.44
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.55 73.85
Australian Dollar AUD 189 192
Bahrain Dinar BHD 712.72 720.69
Canadian Dollar CAD 200 202.2
China Yuan CNY 39.67 39.73
Danish Krone DKK 39.33 39.73
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 34.19 34.54
Indian Rupee INR 3.28 3.39
Japanese Yen JPY 2.5 2.54
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 878 887
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.83 63.43
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.25 175.25
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.79 27.09
Omani Riyal OMR 696.08 704.08
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 73.62 74.32
Singapore Dollar SGD 204 206
Swedish Korona SEK 25.61 25.91
Swiss Franc CHF 291.69 294.19
Thai Bhat THB 8.15 8.30

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 205,200 on Saturday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs175,930.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs167,318 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 195,157.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Karachi PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Islamabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Peshawar PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Quetta PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Sialkot PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Attock PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Gujranwala PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Jehlum PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Multan PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Bahawalpur PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Gujrat PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Nawabshah PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Chakwal PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Hyderabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Nowshehra PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Sargodha PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Faisalabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Mirpur PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430


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