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Govt urges people not to self-medicate over virus fears

The Gibraltar Government has contacted local pharmacies to stop people purchasing and self-administering the anti-malaria drug Chloroquine, citing the risk of toxicity.

In a stark message to those who have attempted to procure the drug based on social media reports of its usage in other countries, the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said: “Do not do this…You may hurt yourself or even kill yourself if you do.”

Speaking at the 4pm briefing at No.6 Convent Place, Mr Picardo said: “It has also come to our attention that some people are seeking to purchase Chloroquine over the counter from some pharmacies to self-administer.”

“This can be toxic.”

“We are in touch with our pharmacies to stop this practice.”

“If our clinicians think you need this drug, it will be administered to you when you need it by a clinician.”

But, he added: “Do not medicate yourselves on the basis of what you read on social media.”

This comes after Mr Picardo banned the importation of all Covid-19 tests, except those authorised by the GHA.

He explained: “We needed to do this in order to maintain quality and to stop the entry of tests that would be unreliable.”

“If you are falsely informed that you have or don't have Covid-19, or that you have been infected in the past, this might adversely affect compliance with social distancing measures.”

“That could lead to a breakdown of the objectives of our lockdown.”

“Ultimately, that could lead to the collapse of the GHA’s capacity and unnecessary suffering and deaths of people.”

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