By Bayram Altug

GENEVA

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Saturday it stopped a clinical trial of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients.

“WHO today accepted the recommendation from the Solidarity Trial’s International Steering Committee to discontinue the trial’s hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir arms,” the WHO said in a statement. “The Solidarity Trial was established by WHO to find an effective COVID-19 treatment for hospitalized patients.”

The organization said that according to interim trial results, “hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect.”

In May, the WHO said that due to safety concerns, it was temporarily halting a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 patients.

Since first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.

The US, Brazil, and Russia are currently the countries hardest hit in the world.

The pandemic has killed more than 528,200 people worldwide, with an excess of 11.1 million confirmed cases and greater than 6 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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