MOSCOW

Russia on Saturday claimed it has created a drug, based on the antimalarial Mefloquine, to treat patients suffering from the coronavirus, known as COVID-19.

The drug prevents virus replication in cells and as a result stops the inflammatory process caused by the virus, the Russian Federal Biomedical Agency said in a statement.

Veronika Skvortsova, the agency’s head, said Mefloquine has to be combined with antibiotics for the maximum effect, allowing increase in the concentration of antiviral agents in blood plasma and lungs.

“This will ensure effective treatment of patients with various degrees of coronavirus infection,” Skvortsova said.

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