BREAKING: WHO Suspends Trial Of Hydroxychloroquine As COVID-19 Treatment

The World Health Organisation has suspended testing malaria drug, Hydroxychloroquine, in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns.

WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, made this known in a virtual press conference on Monday.

He said the decision came after the publication last week of a study indicating that using the drug on COVID-19 patients could increase their likelihood of dying.

Hydroxychloroquine has been touted by United States President, Donald Trump, and others as a possible treatment for the disease. Trump had said he was taking the drug to help prevent infection.

“As you know, more than two months ago we initiated the Solidarity Trial, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of four drugs and drug combinations against COVID-19,” he said.

“Over 400 hospitals in 35 countries are actively recruiting patients and nearly 3500 patients have been enrolled from 17 countries.

“On Friday, the Lancet published an observational study on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine and its effects on COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalised. The authors reported that among patients receiving the drug, when used alone or with a macrolide, they estimated a higher mortality rate.

“The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally.

“The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trial and in particular robust randomised available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug.

“The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board. The other arms of the trial are continuing.”

He explained that the concern raised related to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19, but added that “these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria.”

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