WHO suspends trials of hydroxychloroquine over safety risks for COVID-19 patients

WHO suspends trials of hydroxychloroquine over safety risks for COVID-19 patients

The World Health Organization has suspended testing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns; WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday, May 25.

Hydroxychloroquine has been touted by Donald Trump and others as a possible treatment for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The U.S. President has said he was taking the drug to help prevent infection.

“The executive group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity trial; while the safety data is reviewed by the data safety monitoring board,” Tedros told an online briefing.

He said the other arms of the trial – a major international initiative to hold clinical tests of potential treatments for the virus – were continuing.

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The WHO has previously recommended against using hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent coronavirus infections; except as part of clinical trials.

Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO emergencies programme; said the decision to suspend trials of hydroxychloroquine had been taken out of “an abundance of caution”.

The WHO has previously advised against the widespread use of the drug in the treatment of COVID-19. Indeed, it argued that it should be reserved solely for clinical trials. However, it has been actively promoted by Trump, who even took a two-week hydroxychloroquine course; as a preventive measure against the coronavirus.

In his latest interview published Sunday, Trump said he has finished the course and “is still here.”

Meanwhile, a growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as coronavirus lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said.

A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the United States found that 13 per cent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the coronavirus pandemic.

“If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the NFHA in a podcast on their website.

“As a single mum, I had no choice. I didn’t want to lose my housing.”

Sex for rent has come under growing scrutiny in the United States and Britain in recent years amid spiralling housing costs.

About The Author

Mayowa Oladeji

A writer with a keen interest in human stories and topical issues around the world. mayowa.oladeji@1stnews.com

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