The World Health Organization (WHO) has temporarily suspended medical trials of hydroxychloroquine and chloraquine used as COVID-19 treatment drug, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing on Monday, Trend reports citing TASS.
According to him, a study was published recently regarding the two medications and their effect on patients hospitalized with COVID-19. The study authors claim that higher mortality rates are observed in patients taking these drugs either on their own or in combination with macrolide (antibiotic). Taking these data into account, the Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial has decided to study all currently available data. Simultaneously, "the 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," the WHO chief stressed.
"This concern relates to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloraquine in COVID-19," he noted. "The other arms of the trial are continuing." Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also emphasized that these drugs "are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria."
In turn, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme Mike Ryan underlined that these developments do not undermine the research, adding that the incoming information must be analyzed.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 5,513,300 people have been infected worldwide and more than 346,800 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 2,309,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
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