Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. In this global fight against the pandemic workers who are coming forward as helpers to prevent the spread of Covid 19 are no less than angels. Doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, workers from humanitarian relief services, free of cost meal providers to the needy, delivery workers, and many people from different sectors are the coronavirus helpers. On the other hand workers of chemistry community such as scientists, chemists, etc. are doing their best to find the ultimate vaccine to bring the spread of the virus to abrupt stop. Hand sanitizers, disinfecting bleach, plastic for production of PPE (personal protective equipments), coveralls, etc. are the benefits that chemistry sector has served the humanity with to fight the disease.
One such drug that came into evidence is Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) an anti-malarial drug. Hydroxychloroquine (a safer derivative of chloroquine drug) recently found as a possible treatment for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19. Few reports from China proved that chloroquine could inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in vitro, and showed visible efficacy in treating COVID-19 in human beings. A small non-randomized trial in France also found hydroxychloroquine to be a promising fair treatment. Many politicians such as US President Donald Trump and reputed organizations like WHO (World Health Organization) and US-FDA (Food & Drug Administration) have prompted this finding as significant shift in the fight against COVID-19. Although there is still no strong evidence that Hydroxychloroquine can be used for the complete treatment of the virus. Many virologists and infectious disease experts believe that the excitement is too early.
“Whether hydroxychloroquine works in vivo is not proven for any virus, and in fact in randomized controlled trials against a number of viruses, including influenza, it doesn’t work at all,” says Douglas Richman, a virologist and infectious disease physician at the University of California, San Diego. “It’s my personal prejudice that this is also going to be the case with coronavirus.”
Despite the absence of strong evidence, few people are already attempting to self-medicate with the drug, which resulted in disastrous consequences. Hydroxychloroquine can have dangerous side-effects if the dose is not carefully controlled. Additionally several cases of chloroquine poisoning have been in USA and Nigeria. Recently the sudden interest in Hydroxychloroquine has led to the shortages for patients who rely on the drug to treat their autoimmune disease. India being the biggest producer of the game changer Hydroxychloroquine had became one of the largest supplier of the drug to different countries including USA, Malaysia, etc. India already manufactures 70 per cent of the world’s supply of Hydroxychloroquine. Solitarily India has again proved that it is truly the friend in need of humanity.
We hope that chemistry gives us the complete cure in the form of some vaccine or drug in future on which humanity can rely upon. In the fight against COVID-19 it’s a gentle reminder from people at Chemistry Junction that we’re all in this together. Across the world, we’re all dealing with this problem and we shall win this together. Stay safe and keep helping. Thank you to all Coronavirus helpers.