Nepal | August 08, 2020

WHO halts hydroxychloroquine, HIV drugs in COVID trials after failure to reduce death

Reuters
Share Now:

GENEVA: 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.

“These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalised COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect,” the WHO said in a statement, referring to large multicountry trials that the agency is leading.

The UN 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.

Another branch of the WHO-led trial is looking at the potential effect of Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir on COVID-19. The European Commission on Friday gave remdesivir conditional approval for use after being shown to shorten hospital recovery times.

The solidarity trial started out with five branches looking at possible treatment approaches to COVID-19: standard care; remdesivir; hydroxychloroquine; lopinavir/ritonavir; and lopanivir/ritonavir combined with interferon.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Friday that nearly 5,500 patients in 39 countries had been recruited so far into its clinical trials and that interim results were expected within two weeks.

Some 18 experimental COVID-19 vaccines are being tested on humans among nearly 150 treatments under development.

Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergencies expert, said on Friday that it would be unwise to predict when a vaccine could be ready. While a vaccine candidate might show its effectiveness by year’s end, the question was how soon it could then be mass-produced, he said.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Nuwakot issues prohibitory order effective from today

TRISHULI: Nuwakot authorities have decided to enforce a prohibitory order in the district amid the heightening risk of coronavirus infection. People's mobility and public service delivery have been heavily cut down in all local levels of the district. A meeting of the Crisis Management Centre Read More...

1,466 Nepalis brought home

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 6 As per the working guidelines on rescuing vulnerable Nepalis who have been stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic, 1,466 Nepalis were repatriated home by this evening. These stranded people arrived through nine chartered flights. According to Devendra KC, genera Read More...

India's Kaur rues WBBL clash but bullish about T20 Challenge

NEW DELHI: India captain Harmanpreet Kaur says the rearranged Women's T20 Challenge will come as a much-needed boost for the game after the COVID-19 shutdown, though the scheduling clash with the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) in Australia is not ideal. Staged on the sidelines of the Indian P Read More...

143 diagnosed with coronavirus in Parsa

BIRGUNJ: A total of 143 new persons including 22 females have tested positive for coronavirus in the lab test carried out using polymerase chain reaction method at Narayani Hospital in Birgunj Metropolitan City of Parsa district. The test report came out last night, according to Dr Niraj Singh at Read More...

Monsoon flood, mudslide kill 5 in India, disaster teams sent

NEW DELHI: A mudslide triggered by heavy monsoon rain and flooding killed at least five people in southern India on Friday, police said. Kerala state's top elected official Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted that dozens of people were feared trapped and teams from the National Disaster Response Force were Read More...

Countries rally round Lebanon after Beirut blast

Countries and international organisations have lined up to help Lebanon after a massive warehouse explosion sent a blast wave across Beirut, killing at least 145 people and injuring nearly 5,000. Below are details of some of the international assistance offered. BANGLADESH - Emergency food, Read More...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 19.16 million, death toll over 714,000

At least 19,166,379 people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 714,246 people have died, a Reuters tally showed. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019. Th Read More...

District administration offices agree on 16-day restrictions in valley

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 7 All three district administration offices of Kathmandu valley have decided to allow only emergency services for 16 days — August 9 to August 24 — and suspend the rest to break the chain of COVID transmission, as people had been venturing out of their homes in droves of lat Read More...