WHO temporarily suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 treatment

WION Web Team
GenevaUpdated: May 25, 2020, 10:54 PM IST

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (file photo). Photograph:(AFP)

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US President Trump has repeatedly said that prescription malaria drug could combat coronavirus.

The World Health Organization(WHO) said its "Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the solidarity trial while the data is reviewed by the data safety monitoring board."

In a tweet, WHO chief Tedros said that "on Friday, The Lancet had  published an observational study on hydroxycholoroquine & chloraquine & its effects on COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalised."


"The authors reported that among COVID-19 patients receiving the drug, when used alone or with a macrolide, they estimated a higher mortality rate."


US President Trump has repeatedly said that prescription malarial drug could combat coronavirus.

"People are going to have to make up their own mind," the US president had said, adding,"I think it gives you an additional level of safety." The US Food and Drug Administration had earlier warned of potential side effects of the drug if it is used in COVID-19 patients.

"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," Dr Tedros said in a tweet.


"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 WHO chief added.

"The other arms of the trial are continuing. This concern relates to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloraquine 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.