As of this morning – Tuesday May 26 – the current recorded case count for COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the UK has hit 261,184 with 36,914 deaths.

The World Health Organisation has announced a temporary pause on a clinical trial arm testing hydroxycholoroquine on safety concerns.

The move follows publication in the Lancet of an observational study on hydroxycholoroquine and chloroquine and its effects on COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalised.

According to the study authors there was a higher estimated mortality rate among patients receiving the drug, when used alone or with a macrolide.

The WHO's Solidarity study is comparing four treatment options for COVID-19 – Gilead's experimental antiviral remdesivir, AbbVie's HIV drug Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir), MS drug interferon beta-1a and the antimalarials chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine – against standard of care.

On the back of the Lancet published trial, the executive group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally, the WHO said.

The review will evaluate data from the Solidarity Trial as well as other randomised available data to determine the potential benefits and harms from hydroxycholoroquine use.

“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. The other arms of the trial are continuing,” WHO director-general is Tedros Adhanom said.