SARAJEVO/BELGRADE — Serbian and Bosnian drugmakers Galenika and Zada Pharmaceuticals said on Monday they had started producing chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 patients after public interest sent demand soaring.

Sales of the drugs have surged around the world since U.S. President Donald Trump touted hydroxychloroquine as a potential weapon against the coronavirus.

The anti-malarial drugs are being tested for the new application in multiple clinical trials, and numerous companies have stepped up production.

In Serbia, which is gradually easing its lockdown and allow some businesses to open, Galenika has produced 372,000 tablets of chloroquine, sufficient for Serbia’s needs, Sanja Radojevic Skodric, the director of the state health insurance fund, told the public broadcaster RTS TV.

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