The Jair Bolsonaro administration has already distributed over 5.8 million pills of chloroquine to treat Covid-19 patients. But despite a lack of scientific evidence to support the use of the antimalarial drug against the coronavirus, the Brazilian government is moving to buy even more pills — according to filings by the Health Ministry.
The information was gathered by Fiquem Sabendo, a journalism agency that advocates for the transparency of public information.
President Bolsonaro is arguably the world’s biggest advocate for chloroquine, touting the unproven medicine as a “possible cure” for Covid-19. The president claims he used the medicine after testing positive for the coronavirus in July, and calls himself “living proof” of the drug’s efficacy. “Over 100,000 people have died [of Covid-19] in Brazil. If they had been treated back then with this medicine, maybe these lives would have been spared,” he told supporters last month.
During the pandemic, chloroquine production by the Brazilian Army rose 84 times — with 1.25 million pills being manufactured between March and April. In August, the Army declared it had over 1 million pills stockpiled, but no procurement demand for the drug.
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