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Brazil’s Health Secretary tried to promote ineffective treatment in Portugal

Mayra “Capitã Chloroquina” Pinheiro, Secretary of Health of Brazil

The secretary of Labor Management and Education of the Brazilian Ministry of Health offered the Portuguese government to share its experience in the use of drugs considered ineffective in the treatment of covid-19, reported the Brazilian portal G1.

Based on documents obtained by the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI) that investigates Government actions and omissions Brazilian in the pandemic, the G1 portal released information about an e-mail sent by Mayra Pinheiro, known as ‘Chloroquine Captain’, in which he made himself available to share knowledge about the so-called ‘early treatment’ with the Government of Portugal, last January.

Given the information on the high number of cases and unfavorable clinical outcomes of covid-19 in Portuguese territory, and as a Portuguese citizen and National Secretary of the Ministry of Health of Brazil, I make myself available to contribute by sharing our experience in early care in the fight against the disease”, wrote the doctor.

The offer from the Secretary of Health was made on January 25th to a representative of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an email entitled “Sharing Covid Covid Experiences-19”.

‘Early treatment’ or ‘early care’ is the name given to the use of a set of medicines without scientific certification given against covid-19 in Brazil that are defended by members of the Brazilian Government, including the country’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, as chloroquine and ivermectin.

Mayra Pinheiro is being investigated in Brazil for recommending the use of these substances without proven efficacy against the SARS-Cov-2 virus and is suspected of having ignored information about the oxygen crisis that led dozens of patients to death in Manaus, capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas.

In a statement to the CPI of the pandemic last May, Mayra Pinheiro assured that “hundreds” of scientific studies attest to the effectiveness of chloroquine to reduce the virulence of covid-19 without naming these works, and argued that this and other drugs were ‘criminalized’ by political opinions of scientists.

The government official also argued in her testimony to the CPI that studies carried out by the World Health Organization and other global institutions on chloroquine, which have not proven their effectiveness, “have a questionable methodological quality” and, therefore, affirmed that the Brazilian authorities do not have the “obligation” to assume them as valid.

Brazil is the Portuguese-speaking country most affected by the pandemic and one of the hardest hits in the world when counting 544,180 fatalities and more than 19.4 million cases confirmed from covid-19.

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