Per the Health Ministry’s latest coronavirus update, Brazil recorded 1,086 deaths on Wednesday, raising the total death toll to 25,598. Meanwhile, 20,599 new infections were accounted for over the past 24 hours, bringing the count to 411,821.
Also today, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious disease expert, told CNN that the scientific data “is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy” of antimalarial drug chloroquine as a coronavirus treatment. Last week, medical journal Lancet published a retrospective study analyzing data of 96,000 patients and making a link between the medicine and adverse side effects, such as heart arrhythmia and death. The findings led the World Health Organization to suspend all of its trials with chloroquine on Monday. Today, France banned the drug from being used against Covid-19.
In Brazil, however, President Jair Bolsonaro continues to endorse the drug as a “possible cure.” Earlier today, he even celebrated with supporters the fact that the Donald Trump administration “is sending 2 million hydroxychloroquine pills to Brazil.” In the latest episode of our Explaining Brazil podcast, editor Euan Marshall talked about the drug and its possible impacts on Brazilian public health policies with Rosana Richtmann, an infectious disease specialist at the Emilio Ribas Institute, in São Paulo. The institution is now working exclusively with Covid-19 patients.
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