Hydroxychloroquine could be a cure for COVID-19.


Unconfirmed. There is no proven link.

Further Information

The World Health Organisation (WHO) currently says that “at this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available.”

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that hydroxychloroquine has “not been shown to be safe and effective”.

This is in contrast to the claims of public figures who have promoted the drug as a cure and prophylactic for COVID-19 despite a lack of confirming evidence.

This story has also led to the death of one man in the USA who ingested the closely related compound chloroquine phosphate, a common additive in fish tank cleaners.

Hydroxychloroquine became the subject of significant controversy after the publication of a study in British medical journal The Lancet, which suggested that the compound is in fact linked to higher levels of mortality among COVID-19 patients, prompting the halting of clinical trials for the drug. This publication has since been retracted after the integrity of its underlying data was called into question, and clinical trials have resumed.

WHO also recommends the following basic protective measures:

– Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
– Maintain at least 1 metre distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
– Avoid touching your face.
– Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
– Stay home if you feel unwell.
– Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
– Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.


WHO: Coronavirus Overview

US Food and Drug Administration in BBC News, ‘Coronavirus: Trump says he is taking unproven drug hydroxychloroquine’

Reuters: U.S. Sends 2 Million Doses of Hydroxychloroquine to Brazil

The Lancet: Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19

Reuters: Scientists Pull Panned Lancet Study of Trump-touted Drug

Origin of Claim

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Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine) has been found to be a potential treatment option for COVID-19.

In a study in France with 36 patients, after six days of being treated with Plaquenil in addition to the antibiotic Azithromycin, 70% of patients were cured.

Plaquenil is relatively cheap. It is used for Malaria, Lupus and other autoimmune diseases.