WHO FREEZES TESTS ON HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE AS COVID-19 CURE

The World Health Organization (WHO) has suspended testing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine among COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the Associated Press (AP) on Monday (Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in Manila).

Hydroxychloroquine has been touted by US President Donald Trump and others as a possible treatment for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, with Trump claiming he had been using it for more than two weeks as a prophylaxis. Studies have shown that users develop arrhythmia and other heart problems.

Doctors in Africa and the US said hydroxychloroquine is effective against rheumatoid arthritis and malaria when used in conjunction with antibiotics but COVID-19 is a virus that can hardly be killed by antibiotics meant to battle only bacteria.

“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. He said the other arms of the trial - a major international initiative to hold clinical tests of potential treatments for the virus - were continuing. #COVID19

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