WHO has suspended tests on hydroxychloroquine


The World Health Organization (WHO) has suspended tests on the efficacy against coronavirus of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug that according to preliminary assessments had been described as potentially useful for preventing coronavirus infection (without any scientific confirmation ). Last week, US President Donald Trump said he had started hydroxychloroquine therapy, while various experiments had been underway some time around the world, including in Italy.

WHO has not provided many details about its decision. Mike Ryan, head of the health emergency program, said it was taken “out of plenty of caution”. WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added that testing on hydroxychloroquine is the only one that has been interrupted among those managed by WHO, included under the name SOLIDARITY.

– Also read: Does hydroxychloroquine prevent coronavirus?

We started talking about the use of hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19 in February, following a laboratory test that had shown its ability to prevent coronavirus from binding to cells, the first step to then be able to exploit them to replicate. The test had been performed in vitro, therefore not in an organism, and had some limitations in its implementation. A study done in China instead included a control group, noting some improvement in patients with mild cases of COVID-19. Again, the research involved a limited number of people.

However, WHO had recommended doctors all over the world not to prescribe hydroxychloroquine outside of clinical trials, given that its intake can cause various side effects.

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