WORLD Trump says antimalarial drug soon available to treat COVID-19 in US


Trump says antimalarial drug soon available to treat COVID-19 in US


01:53, March 20, 2020


Medical personnel at work in the intensive care unit of the hospital of Brescia, Italy, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (Photo AP)

WASHINGTON (Xinhua) -- US President Donald Trump said Thursday that an antimalarial drug will soon be made available with a prescription to treat the novel coronavirus.

It is a common drug and will soon be available for "prescribed use" on coronavirus, Trump told a daily briefing at the White House, calling it a "game-changer."

Trump said he has pushed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to eliminate barriers to getting therapeutics for coronavirus patients.

"We have to remove every barrier or a lot of barriers that were unnecessary, and they've done that to get the rapid deployment of safe, effective treatments. We think we have some good answers," he said. "We slashed red tape to develop vaccines and therapies as fast as it can possibly be done."

FDA Commissioner Stephen HahnHahn said it is the FDA's responsibility to ensure that products are safe and effective when discussing the drugs and therapeutic options being explored to address the coronavirus.

"I have great hope for how we are going to come out of this situation," he said.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has topped 10,755 as of 13:00 Eastern Standard Time Thursday, with 154 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

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