After ‘temporary pause’ WHO resumes hydroxychloroquine trials

World Health Organization(WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that after a “temporary pause” clinical trials of the drug hydroxychloroquine will resume.

“This decision was taken as a precaution while the safety data were reviewed. The data safety and monitoring committee of the Solidarity Trial has been reviewing the data,” Tedros said, adding,” on the basis of the available mortality data, the members of the committee recommended that there are no reasons to modify the trial protocol.”

The WHO had earlier suspended hydroxychloroquine trials over health concerns.

“The Executive Group received this recommendation and endorsed the continuation of all arms of the Solidarity Trial, including hydroxychloroquine,” the WHO chief said.

“The Executive Group will communicate with the principal investigators in the trial about resuming the hydroxychloroquine arm of the trial,” Tedros added.

Earlier, medical journal The Lancet had issued an “expression of concern” over a large-scale study of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.

In a study, The Lancet had concluded that treatment with hydroxychloroquine showed no benefit and even increased the likelihood of patients dying in hospital. As a result, WHO paused the clinical trials.

However, in a statement today the journal said: “The observational study looked at records for 96,000 patients and concluded that treatment with hydroxychloroquine, which is normally used to treat arthritis, and chloroquine, an anti-malarial, showed no benefit and even increased the likelihood of patients dying in hospital.”

US President Donald Trump has been an ardent follower of the drug, and had declared he was taking it much to the surprise of his own administration officials.