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WHO Halts Hydroxychloroquine Trials As COVID-19 Treatment

The WHO has suspended clinical trials of the drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

World Health Organization(WHO) said Monday it was halting testing of the drug for COVID-19 after studies questioned its safety.

The WHO "has implemented a temporary pause, while the safety data is reviewed", the Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, referring to the hydroxychloroquine arm of a global trial of various possible treatments.

“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,” Tedros said.

“The other arms of the trial are continuing,” he stressed.

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

The Lancet study found that both drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can produce potentially serious side effects, particularly heart arrhythmia.

And neither drug benefitted patients hospitalised with COVID-19, according to a Lancet study, which looked at the records of 96,000 patients across hundreds of hospitals.

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan meanwhile told Monday’s briefing that the WHO-backed Solidarity Trial had been looking only at the effects of hydroxychloroquine and not chloroquine.

The decision on suspending enrolment for trials using hydroxychloroquine was “a temporary measure”, she said.

“We’re just acting by precaution,” WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan agreed

Source- Channels TV

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