The World Health Organization has temporarily suspended clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of coronavirus COVID-19, as it is necessary to analyze its effects, said on Monday WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“The executive team took a temporary pause to test hydroxychloroquine,” he said at a press conference.
Hebrejesus added that the WHO will “adequately assess the potential benefits and harms of the drug. He stressed that the tests will not be conducted until “safety data” on the use of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of coronavirus are available.
Earlier, Donald Trump said he was taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus. According to him, the drug is taken by many doctors and people working in places where there is a high risk of infection.
However, many politicians, including Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, criticized Trump. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said, “Any expert would say the drug is not working against COVID-19, so Trump is giving people false hope.
Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial drug that has been around for decades. In many countries, it has been used in recent months to treat COVID-19.
Many scientists have called for caution when using hydroxychloroquine. The European Medicines Agency noted that hydroxychloroquine, like chloroquine, should not be used against COVID-19 except in clinical trials and in national emergencies.