WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19 patients due to safety concerns

The World Health Organization has paused testing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19 patients due to safety concerns, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday as reported by Reuters.

Hydroxycholoroquine has been hailed by Donald Trump as the game changer in the treatment of Covid -19 and the President had earlier revealed that he was taking the drug to help avoid infection.

“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 told an online briefing.

However, the other means of the trial – an significant international initiative to maintain clinical tests of potential treatments for the virus – were continuing. Tedros added.

The WHO had before suggested against using hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent coronavirus infections, except as part of clinical trials.

Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO emergencies program, said the decision to suspend trials of hydroxychloroquine had been taken out of “an abundance of caution”.