WHO halts Hydroxychloroquine test against coronavirus

New Delhi (NVI): The World Health Organization (WHO) has halted research on whether hydroxychloroquine could be an effective treatment for COVID-19.

WHO announced that testing of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in its large multi-country trial of treatments for COVID-19 patients had been halted after new data and studies showed no benefit.

According to WHO, recent trials showed that the anti-malaria drug does not result in the reduction of mortality of hospitalised COVID-19 patients.

However, the decision will not affect other research examining whether hydroxychloroquine might be beneficial to prevent COVID-19 or for patients after they recover from the virus.

“Patients who have already started hydroxychloroquine but who have not yet finished their course in the trial may complete their course or stop at the discretion of the supervising physician,” the WHO statement further added.

Hydroxychloroquine gained attention as a potential COVID-19 treatment in February, when small studies suggested it might be useful against the virus, according to media reports.

So far, only one drug, Remdesivir, has been shown in clinical trials to help very sick patients in the hospital recover faster.

In addition to this, researchers at the University of Oxford in England recently 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.