WHO Halts hydroxychloroquine study due to safety concerns

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Executive Group reviewing use of the Drug

WHO (World Health organization) has temporarily halted the study of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19 due to safety concerns, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently said. This decision was made after an observational study published on Friday in the medical journal The Lancet described how seriously ill COVID-19 patients who were treated with hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were more likely to die. 

Tedros added that an independent executive group is reviewing the use of hydroxychloroquine in WHOs Solidarity Trial. The executive group represents 10 of the participating countries in the trial. The trial, which involves actively recruiting patients from more than 400 hospitals in 35 countries, is a global research effort to find safe and effective therapeutics for COVID-19. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO Chief Scientist, said Monday the trial has only been using hydroxychloroquine, not the more toxic chloroquine. 

The President claims to have taken the Drug

President of the United States Donald Trump recently claimed that he was taking daily doses of hydroxychloroquine. Trump said he has taken the antimalarial drug after consulting the White House doctor, though stopped short of saying his physician had actually recommended the drug. Trump said he hadn’t been exposed to coronavirus, and started taking the drug because he had heard from frontline responders who sent him letters saying they were taking it preventively. 

When asked if the White House doctor recommend him to take hydroxychloroquine, Trump said, “Asked him what do you think, he said well, if you would like it.” Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, the President’s physician said Trump had taken multiple tests for coronavirus, which all came out negative and the President remains symptom free. “After numerous discussions he and I had regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks,” Conley further added. 



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