Kenya: Pharmacy Board Prohibits Over-the-Counter Antimalarials Sale Amid COVID-19-Driven Surge

Nairobi — The Pharmacy and Poisons Board has prohibited pharmacies and chemists from selling Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine to Kenyans who do not have a prescription from a medical doctor.

The directive follows a spike of the purchase of the two drugs after unverified reports indicated that the drugs can treat coronavirus.

The Board's CEO, Dr. Fred Siyoi, in a statement on Thursday warned that the use of the drugs to persons who are unauthorized to use them would lead to irreversible effects like blindness.

"Please note that clinical trials utilizing the two medicines are currently ongoing and no robust clinical data substantiating their use fro prophylaxis and curative purpose is available hence caution has to be applied when using them," he said.

He noted that their purchase to persons who have no ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and porphyria cutanea tarda that require such treatments risk endangering the lives of those who need the drugs.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday announced that the country has registered its first full recovery of a patient who had been infected with the virus with the toll of those infected rising to 28 people.

He expressed optimism that indeed their was a glimmer of hope that the virus which has infected and killed hundreds of thousands globally will be defeated if only Kenyans continue to adhere to the set regulations which have been issued by the Ministry of Health.

In a bid to tighten the measures to prevent the spread of the virus, the Head of State also announced that there will be a dusk to dawn curfew that will take effect on Friday from 7pm to 5am.

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