MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. The Russian Ministry of Health believes that there are no obstacles to using the Chinese drug hydroxychloroquine unregistered in the Russian Federation to treat a new coronavirus infection, the ministry’s press service told reporters on Saturday.
Earlier, the Russian Government instructed the National Medical Research Center for Cardiology of the Ministry of Health to use and transfer to other medical organizations unregistered Chinese drug hydroxychloroquine in the amount of 68,600 packages for the treatment of coronavirus infection.
"From the standpoint of clinical pharmacology, there are no obstacles to the use of this batch of hydroxychloroquine, because in terms of its safety and effectiveness it does not differ from drugs previously registered in the Russian Federation with the same international non-proprietary name," the report said.
"The presence of a GMP certificate confirms the fact that production meets all international quality requirements for pharmaceutical manufacturing," Deputy Director General for Drug Expertise, Scientific Center for Expert Evaluation of Medicinal Products of the Ministry of Health Vadim Merkulov said.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
To date, a total of 36,793 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 3,057 patients having recovered from the virus. Russia’s latest data indicates 313 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.