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Tue 24 Mar 2020 05:43 PM

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Coronavirus: Kuwait withdraws certain medicines from private pharmacies

Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development has pledged almost $95m to support government efforts to tackle the spread of coronavirus

Coronavirus: Kuwait withdraws certain medicines from private pharmacies

To date, there are 191 confirmed cases in Kuwait, including two new cases reported so far on Tuesday.


Kuwait’s Health Ministry has withdrawn all quantities of medicines containing hydroxylchloroquine or chloroquine from private pharmacies, and limited them to hospitals and health centres only.

US President Donald Trump has claimed the medicines could provide a cure for the deadly Covid-19 strain of coronavirus, calling it a “game changer” in the continued fight.

However, a man from Phoenix in the US has died and his wife is in a critical condition after the two took chloroquine phosphate in an attempt to self-medicate.

According to a statement from Arizona-based Banner Health, chloroquine is also “an additive commonly used at aquariums to clean fish tanks”.

'Experimental treatment'

Dr Al-Sanad said the drug (Blacknell) which contains hydroxychloride, is registered in Kuwait to treat immune diseases such as arthritis, lupus and skin allergy diseases, stressing that it has not been licensed or approved to treat coronavirus.

A report on the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) website, said: “This treatment is currently used as an experimental treatment within protocols for specific cases of patients under the supervision of a specialised medical staff who closely follow the patient and monitor the occurrence of any adverse symptoms or complications during the treatment period.”

$95m pledge

Meanwhile, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) has pledged almost $95 million to support government efforts to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

In a statement, the KFAED, whose object is to assist Arab and other developing countries in developing their economies, said that the grant will come from its social responsibility fund.

To date, there are 191 confirmed cases in Kuwait, including two new cases reported so far on Tuesday.

Health Ministry spokesperson Dr Abdullah Al-Sanad said that the two cases are related to a Filipino and an Indian resident who were in contact with patients that arrived from the UK. 

Dr Al-Sanad revealed that out of the 191 cases, 39 of them have recovered and 152 are still receiving treatment; five cases are still in the ICU.