The cheap yet effective treatment for early-stage COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), might stop being easily available to anyone soon. An explosion and fire have recently destroyed the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical facility producing the precursors for HCQ.
The cause of the explosion is currently under investigation.
The Taipei Times reported that the company’s spokesmen said it would take “at least six months” to rebuild the plant, as the fire damaged most production lines.
Supplies may be tight, as the SCI Pharmtech had already expanded production and sales of HCQ APIs to meet growing demand.
Although the fire cause may be entirely innocent, a six-month delay in the production may delay HCQ supplies to early-stage COVID-19 patients, who could otherwise treat their affliction with it, combined with zinc and an antibiotic like azithromycin.