WHO 'temporarily pauses' use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients
Geneva/IBNS: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday informed that it 'temporarily' stopped the use of the anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, for treating the coronavirus patients.
"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," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference.
This comes at a time when various countries are using the drug to treat coronavirus patients.
The decision was taken after the Lancet published an observational study last Friday on hydroxychloroquine and chloraquine and its effects on COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalised.
The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday and agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally.
Meanwhile, other trials of drug to treat the highly contagious virus will continue, the WHO chief said.
"I wish to reiterate that these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria," he said.
Globally, the coronavirus pandemic has infected 5.45 million people across 188 countries including 3,45,886 deaths.
The United States has the highest number of coronavirus patients with a tally of 16,51,254 and nearly 98,000 fatalities.