Professor William Dab, epidemiologist and Health and Safety Chair at CNAM (National Conservatory for Arts and Trades) in France, has issued a statement about the value of chloroquine phosphate in fighting the novel coronavirus.
The main principle of medical and scientific ethics is to produce results before claiming victory. Currently, the only efficient and proven weapon against the novel coronavirus is following the strict hygiene guidelines that have been widely shared with the public.
It is irresponsible to prematurely and publicly announce a medical solution that has not been fully evaluated, as it can lead to people ignoring recommended guidelines and restrictions. While it is natural to seek quick and easy solutions in times like this, scientists and doctors must not follow this path.
Chloroquine MAY lead to a therapeutic solution. Chinese scientists showed in vitro virucidal activity, but this must first be tested on people before a conclusion can be reached.
Even if chloroquine is effective in humans, scientists must validate that it does not provoke viral resistance as do other monotherapies. In the case of AIDS, I remember that three antivirals were needed to control the disease.
In conclusion, although public statements have been made to the contrary, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved chloroquine phosphate as a proven treatment for COVID-19. We should all continue to follow the strict hygiene guidelines.
William Dab is a Professor and Health and Safety Chair at CNAM, France, where he trains specialists in occupational health and environmental risks, notably through an engineering course in risk management. As a doctor, he specializes in epidemiology. His career has been entirely devoted to health and safety and includes developing tools for risk assessment, monitoring, and management. As a former Director-General of Health, he was a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Committee and was Chairman of the European Environment and Health Committee for the WHO European Region. He has also published a number of books related to health and safety.
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