MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) is stopping the use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients participating in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) solidarity trial.
In a virtual media forum Tuesday, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the measure would be observed in all hospitals participating in the solidarity trial, an international clinical trial to test the effectiveness of a possible vaccine for Covid-19.
“Of course, we follow WHO guidelines on this because this is a part of the WHO solidarity trial. We are stopping from giving this to our Covid-19 patients because of the WHO’s advice,” Vergeire said.
“In fact, this morning nagpalabas na po ng sulat ang ating proponent at pinadala sa aking opisina na sinasabi na po nila na we are pulling out and we are stopping from giving this hydroxychloroquine to our patients because of WHO’s advice,” she added.
On Monday, the WHO announced it is temporarily halting a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 patients due to safety concerns.
While the DOH has decided on the cessation of hydroxychloroquine’s administration, Vergeire did not share its effects on the patients who received it.
“With regard to the results or kung ano man po ang naging resulta nito sa ating pasyente na nasa hospital ay hindi pa po natin pwede ilabas ‘yan dahil tayo ay nasa (whatever are the results among patients in the hospital, we cannot disclose them because we’re in the) clinical trial phase,” Vergeire said.
In President Rodrigo Duterte’s ninth report to Congress on the national government’s Covid-19 response efforts on Monday, he said 24 hospitals nationwide are participating in WHO’s solidarity trial, and 16 of which are actively recruiting participant-patients.
To date, there are 157 participant-patients or enrollees in the clinical trial. (ia/PNA)