12:20 GMT18 January 2021
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    On Tuesday, the French High Council for Public Health (HCSP) and the Agency for the Safety of Health Products (ANSM) had suspended the use of hydroxychloroquine as a means to combat COVID-19 for both the treatment of patients and clinical trials.

    The French government has cancelled a decree permitting hospital doctors to administer hydroxychloroquine as a treatment to patients suffering severe forms of coronavirus.

    Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) paused an extended trial of the malaria drug due to safety concerns.

    At the end of March, France decided to allow the use of hydroxychloroquine in specific situations, and exclusively in hospitals.

    The study, published last Friday in The Lancet medical journal, revealed that there was an increased risk of death when the drug was used for patients with COVID-19. The publication prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to halt its clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine on Monday as a precautional measure.

    The number of people who have died in France from coronavirus-related complications has reached 28,530, an increase of 315 since the latest previous reported figures last week, the French Public Health Agency (DGS) said.

    The last time the DGS released a situation report on the death toll in France was last Thursday. The report stated 28,215 deaths linked to COVID-19.

    According to the update, 100,841 people in total have been hospitalized since the beginning of the pandemic, and 16,264 currently remain in hospitals, down from 18,468 last week, including 1,555 patients in intensive care units.

    coronavirus, World Health Organization (WHO), Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), COVID-19
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