The World Health Organization has paused the clinical trials of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine in coronavirus patients. It says the drug, notably taken and endorsed by US President Donald Trump, has raised safety concerns.
The drug’s safety data is being reviewed by a monitoring board, and the trials have been put on hold, the WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters. It was being tested as part of the Solidarity international program aimed at tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UN health body took the step out of an “abundance of caution,” said Mike Ryan, the head of the organization’s emergencies program.
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The WHO has previously advised against the widespread use of the drug in treatment of Covid-19, arguing that it should be reserved solely for clinical trials. However, it has been actively promoted by Trump, who even took a two-week hydroxychloroquine course as a preventive measure against the coronavirus. In his latest interview published Sunday, Trump said he has finished the course and “is still here.”
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