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WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine temporarily

News Agencies | Updated on: 26 May 2020, 10:35 IST

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday (local time) temporarily suspended the clinical trial of malarial drug hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of coronavirus.

In a briefing, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that in view of a paper published last week in The Lancet medical journal, that showed people taking hydroxychloroquine were at higher risk of death and heart problems than those that were not.

There would be "a temporary pause" on the hydroxychloroquine arm of its global clinical trial, the WHO chief stated.

"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," Ghebreyesus said.

"The other arms of the trial are continuing. This concern relates to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19. I wish to reiterate that these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria," he added.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted hydroxychloroquine as a potential game-changer in fighting the coronavirus.


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First published: 26 May 2020, 8:04 IST