World leaders fight the pandemic

By Aleasha Bliss, Brooke Festa and Luke Jackson

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has paused the use of hydroxychloroquine in global trials in the fight against COVID-19 due to health risks including death.

Australia will continue with one study using the drug called COVID-Shield trial as it is testing  it on healthcare workers, not patients already diagnosed with COVID-19.

With differences in health advice from world and national health agencies, we took this question to the people of Queensland to see what their views were.

“Do you trust the WHO and where do you look for trusted Covid-19 and other health facts?”

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) President Dr Harry Nespolon said hydroxychloroquine should not be taken to treat COVID-19 unless partaking in the trial under medical watch, and not to take it because world leaders – US President Donald Trump – have said it is safe.

“There is quite simply insufficient evidence that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can ‘cure’ COVID-19,” Dr Nespolon said in a statement earlier this week. “So the drugs should not be provided to patients outside of a formal randomised clinical trial and I also strongly advise against acquiring these drugs on the dark web or anywhere else.”

The WHO researches and develops plans to coordinate global public health, assisting its member countries with national health systems and emergency response.

During the Covid-19 pandemic around the world, it has come under fire several times, resulting in US President Donald Trump cutting funding to the organisation last month.

He said it was promoting “disinformation” about the crisis.

On May 19, the President threatened to make his temporary funding cut a permanent one after sending the global United Nations organisation a letter stating his demands and anger at the WHO, with a 30-day ultimatum.

“The World Health Organization have repeatedly made claims about the coronavirus that were either grossly inaccurate or misleading,” the President’s letter reads.

On the same day 130 countries convened virtually for the 73rd World Health Assembly and concluded the “global unity” was paramount to fighting the pandemic.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in his closing statement to the world leaders that although everyone around the world has lost loved ones, jobs and are being impacted by Covid-19, the end will come.

“It’s shaken the foundations of our world,” Dr Ghebreyesus said. “But it’s also reminded us that for all our differences, we are one human race, and we are stronger together.”

With differences in health advice from world and national health agencies, we took this question to the people of Queensland to see what their views were.

“Do you trust the WHO and where do you look for trusted Covid-19 and other health facts?”

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