Government app recommends prescription of unproven Covid drugs

Government app recommends the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19
Government app recommends the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19

TrateCov, a new government app developed by the Health Ministry to help doctors diagnose Covid-19, is reportedly recommending the prescription of unproven drugs hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin as treatment, according to Veja Magazine. 

The news comes one day after Didier Raoult — the French physician who first used the antimalarial drug chloroquine to treat Covid-19 patients — admitted that the treatment is not effective to reduce ICU hospitalizations and deaths caused by SARS-CoV-2. The Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases issued a statement saying that “so far, the best scientific evidence shows that no drug is effective to prevent or act as early treatment for Covid-19,” countering the Health Ministry’s guidelines. 

As informed by the Health Ministry, TrateCov provides doctors with a list of symptoms “led by rigorous clinical criteria” and indicates “a few therapeutic options available in the most up to date literature, suggesting the prescription of drugs.” The Ministry’s Labour and Education Secretary Mayra Pinheiro added that it is possible to diagnose Covid-19 “as long as the patient fills three criteria for the disease.” 

The Brazilian Report accessed the TrateCov platform on Wednesday morning, and found that the government app lists textbook Covid-19 symptoms such as shortness of breath and the loss of taste and smell, but also warns that other diseases such as flu and dengue fever may have similar symptoms. We were unable to confirm which prescriptions TrateCov offers, however, as the function is only available for beta use by doctors in Manaus