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Is there a Correlation between Changes in Hydroxychloroquine Use and Mortality Rates from COVID-19?

Elena Filipova, Elitsa Gotseva, Katya Uzunova, Velichka Pavlova, Silvia Hristova, Krassimir Kalinov and Toni Vekov

Currently there is an active search for vaccines or therapeutics against the newly emergent Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). A large number of countries have published documents with recommendations for health professionals which are similar in nature. However, there are differences worth discussing. We aimed to determine if there is any connection between changes in hydroxychloroquine use and death rates from COVID-19 worldwide. We presented data for changes in hydroxychloroquine use for 56 countries for the period January 2019 to April 2020. Mortality rate was extrapolated as case fatality rate from data about total deaths to total number of cases for each country. The Pearson’s correlation coefficient is -0.215. Together with the p value of 0.112, it points to lack of statistically significant relation. We formed three clusters and analysed the differences between the two parameters. There is a statistically significant difference in mortality rates and changes in hydroxychloroquine use. Eta coefficient and eta squared are 0.750 and 0.563 for the increase in hydroxychloroquine use and 0.853 and 0.727 for the mortality rate respectively. Correlation between changes in hydroxychloroquine use and mortality rate from COVID-19 is non-linear with high eta coefficient but available data is not enough to fully characterize it.