Health watchdog, World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it has suspended the use of hydroxychloroquine in solidarity trial for the treatment of COVID-19 yesterday Monday.
The drug trial was suspended on grounds of safety concern following a report published by Lancet, which revealed that more people are dying from the use of hydroxychloroquine to combat COVID-19.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general who made the announcement during an online briefing, added that other aspects of the WHO solidarity trial would continue.
“As you know, more than two months ago we initiated the Solidarity Trial, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of four drugs and drug combinations against COVID-19.
“On Friday, the Lancet published an observational study on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine and its effects on COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalized.
“The authors reported that among patients receiving the drug, when used alone or with a macrolide, they estimated a higher mortality rate.
“The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally.
“The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trial and in particular robust randomized available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug.
“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 other arms of the trial are continuing. This concern relates to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19.
“I wish to reiterate that these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria. WHO will provide further updates as we know more. And we will continue to work night and day for solutions, science, and solidarity.”
The number of cases in Nigeria has surpassed the 8,000 marks with over 200 deaths.