A New York-based doctor, Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, said he has recorded enormous success treating coronavirus-infected patients with chloroquine and azithromycin.
The 46-year-old, who has a practice in Orange County, disclosed this as America battles perhaps its most critical public health concern.
New York has been described as the epicentre of the pandemic in America, as more than 15,000 people tested positive for the virus.
Zelenko said that he has been using a cocktail of drugs on his patients: hydroxychloroquine, in combination with azithromycin — an antibiotic to treat secondary infections — and zinc sulfate, which studies have suggested slows down virus replication in the body.
He said he had been administering the cocktail to patients with shortness of breath of any age, and those over 60 years old or who are immunocompromised and exhibiting milder symptoms. He said he is not treating asymptomatic people under 60 who are healthy or low risk.
Giving a breakdown of the dosage he has been administering on patients, he said, 200mg dose of Hydroxychloroquine twice daily, 500mg dose of Azithromycin once daily and 220mg dose of Zinc sulfate once daily.
President Donald Trump had described the first two drugs as “game changers” in the effort to find a cure for the virus.
The doctor said that in the 350 patients that have been treated thus far, normal breathing has been restored within 3-4 hours, and there have been zero deaths, zero hospitalisations and zero intubations.
Zelenko acknowledged that his regimen was new and untested, and that it was too soon to assess its long-term effectiveness. But he said he thinks the rewards of implementing his treatment method are much greater than the risks of waiting to verify its efficacy, and he insisted that he is seeing only positive results from using hydroxychloroquine, in combination with two other drugs, on an outpatient basis for patients at higher risk of dying from the virus.