WHO resumes trials on controversial drug as Italy reopens - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

WHO resumes trials on controversial drug as Italy reopens

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The World Health Organization on Wednesday said it would resume using a controversial drug in coronavirus trials, while Italy led European nations reopening borders even as the pandemic carved its deadly path through Latin America.

The WHO has been holding clinical trials to find a treatment for COVID-19, which has killed more than 380,000 people and wrought vast economic damage since emerging in China late last year.

The UN agency paused trials of the drug hydroxychloroquine last week, citing a study in The Lancet medical journal that suggested it could increase the risk of death among COVID-19 patients.

But that study has come in for a steady stream of criticism, with even The Lancet now issuing an “expression of concern” to acknowledge the seriousness of the questions raised.

As Europe slowly opens up again, the United States, where President Donald Trump has championed hydroxychloroquine, and Latin America have emerged as new centres of infections for COVID-19.