Indonesia continues trials for COVID-19 treatment hinh anh 1A person holds chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine pills (Photo: AFP/VNA)


Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesian health authorities are trying quinine as a possible treatment of COVID-19 while also acquiring other kinds of medication touted as promising drugs in some other countries, a senior official has said.

Research and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro on May 17 said the Indonesian government has previously bought Avigan and hydroxychloroquine, and is currently in the process to acquire Remdesivir.

The country also intends to develop medicines using its own herbs and biodiversity. One of the candidate treatments being tried is quinine.

Quinine, bitter pill made from the bark of the cinchona tree, was originally developed to cure malaria. It has been rarely used as medicine since its synthetic form named chloroquine was invented as prescription medicine for malaria.

Indonesia is conducting clinical trials of various treatments that have been applied in other countries, Bambang said.

The country reported a total 17,514 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections as of May 17, with 1,148 fatalities.

Meanwhile, Singapore on the same day saw 682 new cases, bringing the national tally to 28,038. Most of the cases are work permit holders residing in dormitories. The country’s death toll remained at 22.

The Philippine Department of Health announced 208 new infections and seven deaths on May 17, taking the tally to 12,513 and 824 deaths. As many as 2,635 people have recovered.

At present, Malaysia recorded 6,894 cases and 113 deaths.

For its part, Thailand is gradually easing restrictions as the number of new cases has seen a downturn. Community malls and department stores reopened on May 17 after a suspension in March.

Three new infections were reported on the day, adding up to 3,028 cases of the country, with 56 deaths./.