COVID-19: WHO suspends clinical trials with hydroxychloroquine by security

COVID-19: l’OMS suspend les essais cliniques avec l’hydroxychloroquine par sécurité

GENEVA | The world health Organization (WHO) announced on Monday it had suspended “temporarily” clinical trials with hydroxychloroquine it has with its partners in several countries, as a precautionary measure.

This decision taken on Saturday following the publication of a study the day before in the medical journal The Lancet holding ineffective, or even harmful, the use of chloroquine or its derivatives such as hydroxychloroquine against the COVID-19, indicated the director-general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during a virtual press conference.

The WHO has launched there are more than two months of clinical trials including hydroxychloroquine, dubbed the “Solidarity”, with the aim of finding an effective treatment against the COVID-19.

Currently, “more than 400 hospitals in 35 countries, actively recruiting patients, and nearly 3500 patients were recruited in 17 countries”, explained the boss of WHO.

According to the extensive study published in The Lancet, or chloroquine, or its derivative hydroxychloroquine not be effective against the COVID-19 among hospitalized patients, and these molecules increase the risk of death and cardiac arrhythmia.

The study analyzed data from approximately 96 000 people infected by the virus SARS-CoV-2 admitted in 671 hospitals between December 20, 2019 and April 14, 2020, which were released or died since. Approximately 15 000 of them have received one of four combinations (chloroquine alone or in conjunction with the antibiotic, hydroxychloroquine alone or in conjunction with this same antibiotic), and then these four groups were compared for 81 000 patients in the control group who did not receive the treatment.

The tests conducted by WHO and its partners regarding the hydroxychloroquine will be suspended the time that “data” collected by the testing Solidarity “will be examined,” said Dr. Tedros.

“It is a temporary measure,” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, head of the scientific department at the WHO.

Hydroxychloroquine is a derivative of chloroquine, prescribed for several decades against malaria. Known in France under the name of Plaquenil, hydroxychloroquine, is prescribed against lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

Hydroxychloroquine has experienced since the end of February a notoriety not seen since the French professor Didier Raoult has made public several studies, which according to him show the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine is associated with a macrolide antibiotic, azithromycin.

The excitement around the hydroxychloroquine has experienced a resurgence when the american president Donald Trump has made this the apostle, to the point of taking himself on a daily basis as a preventative measure. In Brazil, the ministry of Health has recommended its use for all patients compared with.

On Monday, the head of the WHO had to recall that, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are recognized as generally safe for patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria”.

Second wave?

Appeared in late December in China, the new coronavirus has nearly 345 000 deaths on the planet. While there is no treatment or vaccine, many countries have started their déconfinement while maintaining the safety distances and gestures barriers to prevent a possible second wave.

When asked about this assumption, Michael Ryan, head of the emergency response programme of the WHO, has not been ruled out, stating that it “could be a reality in many countries in a number of months”.

But “we can’t infer from the fact that the disease is declining, it will continue to do so, and that we will then have several months to prepare for a second wave,” he warned. If we act that way, “we could have a second peak in the wake of the wave that had just taken place, he added.

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