The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday announced the resumption of clinical trials of the antimalarial drug – hydroxychloroquine – over novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.
WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing that after “analysis of available data on mortality” experts concluded that “there is no reason to abandon the plan” of clinical trials.
Similar trials were discontinued more than a week ago – after the study was published by The Lancet. WHO then said it would stop testing until “safety data” on the use of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19 were available.
Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial drug that has been in use for decades. In many countries, it has been used in recent months to treat coronavirus COVID-19. Proponents of such therapy note that these are drugs whose properties and possible side effects have been known for many decades. In their experience, if used correctly, hydroxychloroquine really helps patients. One of the most prominent supporters of such therapy is French Professor Didier Rault.
However, many scientists have called for caution when using this drug. Thus, the European Medicines Agency stated that hydroxychloroquine, like chloroquine, should not be used against COVID-19, except in clinical trials and in emergency situations of national scale.
Earlier, President Donald Trump said he was taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus. The President noted that many doctors and people working in places where there is a high risk of infection take this drug in the U.S. Opponents of Trump criticized him for essentially advertising the drug, not being sure of its effectiveness and safety.