WHO suspends hydroxychloroquine trial

May 25, 2020
| Report Focus News
FILE PHOTO: Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, attends a news conference on the coronavirus (COVID-2019) in Geneva, Switzerland February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo - RC2C8F9BTAY3

The World Health Organization has temporarily paused the use of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as part of a global effort to find a cure for Covid-19.

The organisation’s executive board made the decision following a study published in the medical journal The Lancet on 20 May that showed that the drug increased mortality rates among Covid-19 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,” the head of the WHO Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus told journalists in a virtual press briefing.

He said the other arms of the trial were continuing.

Hydroxycholoroquine has been touted by US President Donald Trump and other leaders as a possible treatment for Covid-19.