While the American press pushes smears regarding President Donald Trump’s discussions of the malarial drug chloroquine as a potential treatment for the Wuhan coronavirus, the French and Italian governments have approved its use.

In France, the government caved to pressure from renowned Dr. Didier Raoult, who led the new additional study on 80 patients, results show a combination of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin to be effective in treating COVID-19. Dr Didier Raoult, a professor of infectious diseases who works at La Timone hospital in Marseille, then declared in a video on YouTube that chloroquine was a cure for Covid-19 and should be used immediately.

…France now allows drug chloroquine to be given to coronavirus patients with extreme case of the disease. Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Monday, “The anti-malarial drug chloroquine can be administered in France to patients suffering from the severest forms of the coronavirus but only under strict supervision.” Veran also cautioned: “The high council recommends not to use this treatment… with the exception of grave cases, hospitalized, on the basis of a decision taken by doctors and under strict surveillance.”

Italian government also announced on Friday that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine could be used to treat all coronavirus patients. Italian government also said the payment will be paid for entirely by the Italian national healthcare system. Yesterday, we also reported that Hungary, the United Kingdom and India, have all banned export of the anti-malarial drugs to explore the usage in treating coronavirus patients in their respective countries.

For additional background on these decisions:

France allows drug chloroquine to be given to gravest coronavirus cases:

The anti-malarial drug chloroquine can be administered in France to patients suffering from the severest forms of the coronavirus but only under strict supervision, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Monday. Citing a ruling adopted after a meeting of France’s high public health council, Veran said the drug could not be used to treat milder cases of the illness

In Italy, anti-malarial and AIDS drugs approved for coronavirus use (Translated from Italian):

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine based antimalarial drugs are authorized in Italy: They are fully charged to the National Health Service for the treatment of patients with Sars-CoV2 infection.

Also authorized for the same use are the combinations of the anti-AIDS drugs lopinavir / ritonavir, danuravir / cobicistat, darunavir, ritonavir, also paid for by the National Health Service

Marijuana sales up 50% in New York City amid pandemic

In New York City, the hottest of the nation’s hot spots, residents are turning to more herbal comfort.

The city has gone to pot. Marijuana, that is.

Since the coronavirus hit, sales of marijuana have gone through the roof in both the United States and Canada. Between March 16 and 22, sales of recreational cannabis rose by 50 percent across states including California, Colorado and Oregon, while medical marijuana sales jumped 41 percent from the same period a year ago.

Despite recreational pot still being illegal here, New Yorkers are helping fuel the trend.

“Business is up a good 50 percent,” said one Manhattan dealer (who asked to remain anonymous). “I work in every borough except Staten Island, and people are very happy that my service is running. Customers are saying ‘Thank you’.”

Liquor store sales are up during the pandemic

Sadly, in California, our Governor has not deemed liquor stores as “essential businesses,” so they are closed. However, I noticed that a lot of the people in line Friday had plenty of beer and wine in the cartat the grocert store.

According to Nielsen data for the week ending March 14, off-premise (i.e., grocery and liquor store) sales were up 27.6 percent for wine, 26.4 for spirits, and 14 percent for beer, cider, and malt beverages (compared to last year’s sales for the same week). Order sizes are bigger, too: Three-liter boxed wine is up 53 percent, and 24 packs of beer are up 24 percent. Some specific retailers point to even higher numbers.

Gary’s Wine & Marketplace, which operates four locations in New Jersey and one in Napa, California, has seen a 62 percent increase in overall sales, a 20 percent increase in overall in-store foot traffic, and a 300 percent increase in local delivery. At Liquor Barn, the leading alcohol retailer in Kentucky, purchase sizes are up 48 percent, and delivery sales, a recent point of focus, are up 600 percent. “We always thought delivery was the future, and we spent a ton of capital investing infrastructure to do it,” says Jonathan Blue, whose equity firm owns Liquor Barn.

As for myself, I am working through a delightful bottle of Don Viejo pre-made margaritas!

Condom shortage looms after coronavirus lockdown shuts world’s top producer

Projections of a baby-boom in December and January are likely to be correct.

A global shortage of condoms is looming, the world’s biggest producer said, after a coronavirus lockdown forced it to shut down production.

Malaysia’s Karex Bhd makes one in every five condoms globally. It has not produced a single condom from its three Malaysian factories for more than a week due to a lockdown imposed by the government to halt the spread of the virus.

That’s already a shortfall of 100 million condoms, normally marketed internationally by brands such as Durex, supplied to state healthcare systems such as Britain’s NHS or distributed by aid programmes such as the UN Population Fund.

The Groceries That No One Wants to Panic-Buy

I will simply note that the last cans of soup on the self were “Corn Chowder” and the “Gluten-Free” pasta remained unsold.

In many places, nervous shoppers have been stockpiling groceries in anticipation of extended spells of social distancing. Although it’s not the rule everywhere, markets across the country have been struggling to replenish their wares as canned foods, dried goods, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper become worth their weight in gold.

But there are a few consumer attitudes that even a run on supermarkets cannot erase: Some foods are just that unappealing. Here, according to Twitter users and Slate staffers’ own ill-fated shopping trips, is what isn’t flying off the shelves.


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