New Delhi: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday suspended the human trials of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, or HCQ, to treat COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns and is being monitored by the organisation’s safety board. Also Read - Robot to The Rescue: Robotic Trolley 'Gollar' Serves Medicines, Food at Quarantine Ward in Mumbai

“The executive group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity trial while the safety data is reviewed by the data safety monitoring board,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during an online press briefing. Also Read - Brazilian President Bolsonaro Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Undergoing Treatment

The WHO director-general said a review will be conducted based on the data collected so far on harms and no-harms of HCQ within the executive group Solidarity Trial, where the drug will be re-evaluated for further tests. Also Read - Coronavirus: As Week 1 of Unlock 2.0 Nears End, Here's Where 3 Worst-Hit States End

The decision was taken after a recent study published in Lancet last week indicated that the use of the anti-malaria drug for coronavirus could increase the chances of them dying.

Notably, hydroxychloroquine has been one of the highly-touted drugs by the likes of US President Donald Trump and others who called it the “game-changer” of the viral pandemic. The U.S. President even completed his two-week course of the drug as a preventive measure after the White House staffers tested positive.