The United States has delivered two million doses of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to Brazil to fight COVID-19, the White House said Sunday, though the drug has not yet been proven effective against the coronavirus.
“HCQ will be used as a prophylactic to help defend Brazil’s nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals against the virus. It will also be used as a therapeutic to treat Brazilians who become infected,” a statement said.
It said the US would soon also send 1,000 ventilators to Brazil, the epicenter of South America’s outbreak with nearly 500,000 confirmed cases.
“We are also announcing a joint United States-Brazilian research effort that will include randomized controlled clinical trials,” it added.
On Saturday, Brazil registered a record 33,274 new cases of the novel coronavirus, its health ministry said, raising the total to 498,440 in a country with one of the world’s worst outbreaks.
The death toll in Brazil from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, increased to 28,834, with 956 new deaths in the last 24 hours, the ministry said.