Hydroxychloroquine has no impact on COVID-19, says WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has stopped its Solidarity Trial arm that researches into the use of Hydroxychloroquine to effectively treat patients with COVID-19.

It said that several studies have indicated that Hydroxychloroquine (an anti-malaria drug) has no impact whatsoever on the virus, and does not result in the reduction of mortality of hospitalised COVID-19 patients.

This is coming days after U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revoked the emergency authorisation for Hydroxychloroquine to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients, amidst several evidences that it could cause serious side-effects, and that it does not work.

The WHO made this known yesterday in a statement.

It said, “The Solidarity Trial’s Hydroxychloroquine arm is being stopped, on the basis of evidence showing it does not reduce mortality for hospitalised COVID-19 patients.”

On Tuesday, researchers at the University of Oxford in England reported that a commonly used steroid called dexamethasone can help COVID-19 patients on ventilators survive the illness, although the data from that trial have not be made public.

The WHO described the initial clinical trial results from dexamethasone as a welcome development, and can be lifesaving for treating patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.

It however said it will carry out an in-depth analysis of the intervention with the new drug, before issuing clinical guidance on how and when it should be used.

Recall that on the 25th of May 2020, the WHO suspended the use of Hydroxychloroquine in Solidarity Trial, multi-country trial, for the treatment of COVID-19, over safety concerns. It said a report published by Lancet, indicated that more people were dying from the use of the drug to combat COVID-19.

Later on the 4th of June 2020, it announced the resumption of clinical trials of the anti-malaria drug – Hydroxychloroquine, to determine its efficacy in the prevention and treatment COVID-19. The WHO based its decision to rescind on its prior stance on the fact that there was no cogent reason to halt the drug use for trial based on review of available data by its Safety Committee.

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