WHO took the decision after last week publication of a study in the Lancet indicating that using the drug on COVID-19 patients could increase their likelihood of dying.
The Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during a virtual press conference, stated that the WHO-backed trials had been “suspended while the safety is reviewed.”
But Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) insisted that the country would continue the trial which it said had been effective in treating COVID-19.
Also speaking to newsmen on Wednesday, Olorunnimbe Mamora, minister of state for health, said WHO can only provide guidelines which countries can adapt according to their peculiarities.
He said: “We are still working on drugs. Don’t forget that even the hydroxychloroquine is still being worked on as we speak. It’s important for us to make it clear that the WHO does not dictate to countries as to what to do.
“They only provide guidance and guidelines, not dictate, because the reality is that each country is expected to look at those realities on ground and leave room for innovation, flexibility and adaptation as dictated by the realities on ground in each country.
“So we’re still looking at the issues of drugs; we are still looking at the issues of the vaccine as well, also in the areas of research.”