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About 20 million hydroxychloroquine tablets distributed in U.S

Pic from Farhad Babaei/ Magnus News. WARNING: Some disturbing content. Pic shows a patient on a ventilator in these series of pictures from the frontline of the world’s third worst COVID-19 outbreak in Iran. The disturbing pictures show men and women hooked up to ventilators as their ravaged lungs can no longer function after being ravaged by COVID-19. Iran has seen more than 1,200 deaths from the deadly virus and nearly 20,000 cases in what is one of the worst outbreaks behind only China and Italy. But the Middle Eastern nation has faced years of sanctions so medical supplies and equipment can be in short supply. Photographer Farhad Babaei was given exclusive access to a COVID-19 centre in Babol, in the Mazandaran Province, where the country has experienced it’s second highest number of fatalities. //MAGNUSNEWSAGENCY_1120.3063/2003191644/Credit:Farhad Babaei/ Magnus New/SIPA/2003191647 (Newscom TagID: sfphotosfour538381.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

 

The United States government through the Strategic National Stockpile has sent out about 20 million tablets of hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug that some doctors have prescribed to Covid-19 patients.

The shipments are heading to New York city, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Baton Rouge; St. Louis; Philadelphia; Baltimore; Miami; Milwaukee; Indianapolis; Houston and Pittsburgh, Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago.

About 10.1 million are going to the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, said a spokesperson for the U.S Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Erin Fox, senior director of Drug Information and Support Services at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy, said most courses of hydroxychloroquine treatment for Covid-19 take 12 to 14 tablets. So the shipments will cover treatment for about 1.4 million patients.

U.S Administration officials have stressed that the choice of using hydroxychloroquine, which is often combined with other drugs such as azithromycin, is a matter between doctors and their patients.

But some medical experts have raised concerns about widespread use of the drug, which can have dangerous side effects under some circumstances.

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