“Whether [in doctors offices] in the cities or in the hospital, this … should not be prescribed for patients with COVID-19,” the ministry said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the country’s public health agency advised against using hydroxychloroquine outside of clinical trials. Shortly after that, the national medicines regulator suspended its use in clinical trials.

The moves follow the Lancet’s publication on Friday of a large observational study casting doubt on the benefit of hydroxychloroquine and another malaria drug, chloroquine, for Covid-19 patients. It also found an increased risk of heart problems and death.