"The COPCOV trial, led by the University of Oxford and Wellcome-supported MORU in Bangkok, has been paused," the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said (Photo: GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images).

An international hydroxychloroquine trial led by the University of Oxford has been paused, Britain’s pharmaceutical regulator said on Wednesday (May 27), less than a week after the trial started, amid fresh safety concerns over the drug.

“The COPCOV trial, led by the University of Oxford and Wellcome-supported MORU in Bangkok, has been paused,” the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said in a statement about the trial, which started last Thursday (21).

“All hydroxychloroquine trials in Covid-19 remain under close review,” it added.

The French government on Wednesday cancelled a decree allowing hospital doctors to administer hydroxychloroquine as a treatment to patients suffering severe forms of Covid-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

On Monday (May 25), the World Health Organization (WHO) paused a large trial of the malaria drug on Covid-19 patients due to safety concerns. British medical journal The Lancet has reported that patients getting hydroxychloroquine had increased death rates.

(Reuters)

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