Those that test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms of the virus must not take Malaria prescribed medication.

This was the advice given by the technical advisor to the Health Ministry, Dr. Yogesh Choudhri.

“Absolutely not, no,” Dr. Yogesh said when taking questions from the public about whether it is ok to treat COVID-19 symptoms with Coartem.

Coartem is a prescription medicine used to treat the symptoms of Malaria. Coartem may be used alone or with other medications. Coartem belongs to a class of drugs called Antimalarials.

“Do not treat COVID-19 with antimalarial medication, they are not indicated as a treatment for COVID-19,” Dr. Yogesh said.

The health team says that the most effective way to prevent oneself from COVID-19 is through vaccination. They say that the vast majority of those that are admitted to the hospital with serious symptoms are unvaccinated.

They also emphasize that many breakthrough infections are reported, but many display mild symptoms.

Associate Professor Julian Elliott, former Executive Director of the Australian National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce, said the evidence indicates hydroxychloroquine is potentially harmful and no more effective than standard care in treating patients with COVID-19.

"We have reviewed all the scientific data around hydroxychloroquine and we can now say, definitively, that hydroxychloroquine should not be used as a treatment for anyone with COVID-19," he said in an interview with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).

"There is now sufficient data for us to make a very clear and strong recommendation. In this instance, that is based on data from randomised controlled trials that enrolled nearly 6000 patients."