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India disagrees with WHO suspension of HCQ usage, sends letter explaining why

ANI | Updated: May 26, 2020 21:28 IST

By Priyanka Sharma
New Delhi [India], May 26 (ANI): Health Ministry of India has written to the World Health Organisation (WHO) after the global health body announced to temporarily suspend the clinical trials of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, sources told ANI.
"It appears all reports about the safety and efficacy of HCQ has not been considered before giving the decision to put HCQ clinical trial on hold," the Health Ministry said in its mail addressed to Dr Madhur Gupta, the Technical Officer of Pharmaceutical at the country office.
The WHO's decision announced on Sunday, came days after India expanded the scope of HCQ to be used as prophylaxis or preventive treatment, by including more categories of healthcare workers besides other frontline coronavirus warriors, like surveillance workers, police/ paramilitary personnel, deployed in COVID as well as non-COVID areas.
"As soon as WHO gave its decision on HCQ clinical trials, the government has reacted quickly," said the official.
However, a similar debate would be true for other drugs being tried in the solidarity trial," the mail read.

The official informed that WHO in reply has asked the data from all countries and will give its review within a week.
On Sunday, WHO temporary suspended the clinical trials of HCQ over safety concerns on the basis of emerging evidence.
"The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board," the WHO tweeted.
On Tuesday, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) also recommended HCQ for prophylactic use for workers involved in COVID-related activities.
India was jointly doing global 'solidarity' trial launched by the WHO to help in finding an effective treatment for COVID19.
'Solidarity' is an international clinical trial to compare four treatment options against the standard of care to assess their relative effectiveness against COVID-19. By enrolling patients in multiple countries, the Solidarity trial aims to rapidly discover whether any of the drugs slow disease progression or improve survival. Importantly, this initiative provides for both speed and scale.
The ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) is the national coordination site for the trial in India. Four potential anti-viral agents, Remdesivir, Chloroquine/Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir-Ritonavir and Lopinavir-Ritonavir with Interferon (b1a) are to be evaluated in the trial. (ANI)