A clinical trial of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has been suspended by the World Health Organization amid safety concerns, the body's chief has confirmed.

"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 Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told an online briefing.

The drug has been repeatedly endorsed by a world leaders including Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro and US president Donald Trump - who yesterday said he had just finished a course of the medicine, which he claimed to have been taking as a preventative measure.

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