Hydroxychloroquine Discontinued After Failure to Reduce COVID-19 Death

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The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 after they failed to reduce mortality.

The setback came as the WHO also reported more than 200,000 new cases globally of the disease for the first time in a single day. The United States accounted for 53,213 of the total 212,326 new cases recorded on Friday, the WHO said in a statement reported by Reuters.

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Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect,” the WHO said in a statement, referring to large multi country trials that the agency is leading.

The U.N. agency said the decision, taken on the recommendation of the trial’s international steering committee, does not affect other studies where those drugs are used for non-hospitalised patients or as a prophylaxis.

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