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WHO continues hydroxychloroquine trial after UK test halts

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FILE PHOTO: The drug hydroxychloroquine, pushed by U.S. President Donald Trump and others in recent months as a possible treatment to people infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is displayed at the Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, U.S. May 27, 2020. REUTERS/George Frey

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization is continuing its clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine, after British scientists halted a large trial that had been exploring use of the drug to treat patients with COVID-19 when initial results showed no evidence of benefit.

“There are two distinct trials with their own protocols, their own oversight committees. Therefore we will continue for now,” Soumya Swaminathan, the WHO’s chief scientist, told an online news briefing when asked about the British trial halt.

“Our committee will consider the data that becomes available…look at the data within our trial but also consider evidence that is coming out of other randomised trials, and we will continue to update you on the progress of the Solidarity Trial,” she said.

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Reporting by Michael Shields, Stephanie Nebehay and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Peter Graff

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