During a telephone press briefing, Minister of Health and Social Affairs Didier Gamerdinger confirmed that four new positive cases of COVID-19 had been identified in the Principality since Sunday evening, bringing the total to 27, including one person who has recovered. “Ten of these have been hospitalised, while the others are being monitored at home, but they are not all Monegasque residents,” said the Minister, given that Princess Grace Hospital treats people from neighbouring communes. “The health situation remains manageable in light of this development. We are not yet at the point of rampant escalation of the epidemic.”
Regarding the use of chloroquine, Didier Gamerdinger noted that Princess Grace Hospital was using the drug under very strict medical surveillance, paying close attention to any undesirable side effects. “The Minister of State has taken a decision with a view to conserving stocks in the Principality and preventing dangerous self-medication. The decision gives priority rights to purchase the drug from wholesale distributors and bans it from being dispensed by chemists. Patients who are already being treated with chloroquine will be able to obtain the drug from a single chemist in the Principality.”
In conclusion, the Minister noted: “Because this drug entails risks of improper use and overdose leading to cardiac and kidney problems, it will only be issued or used following close monitoring and under medical surveillance.”
With regard to delivery of hand sanitiser, this has been distributed on a mass scale to health professionals. A substantial delivery of masks is expected in the coming days.