WHO halts hydroxychloroquine, HIV drugs in COVID trials

Coronavirus cases keep rising in Eurasia 
WHO reports record daily increase in global coronavirus cases

The WHO said 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.

"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 multi-country trials that the agency is leading.

The UN agency said that the decision, taken on the recommendation of the trial's international steering committee, does not affect other studies where the drugs are used for non-hospitalised patients or as a prophylaxis.

In Azerbaijan, health officials reported that the total number of cases to date rose to 19,801 with 534 new additions in the past 24 hours.

The tally of recoveries neared 11,300 and the death toll climbed to 241.

Health authorities in Belarus announced that they observed 273 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to over 63,000. While more than 50,000 people have recovered in the country, fatalities totalled 418.

As for Moldova, officials stated that official cases topped 17,650 with 227 new additions in the last 24 hours. 

The death toll stands at 580 in the country, where more than 2,500 health personnel have contracted the virus.

The WHO has reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases, with the total rising by 212,326 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil and India. The previous WHO record for new cases was 189,077 on June 28.

Deaths remained steady at about 5,000 a day.

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