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  • Hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial active ingredient.

    Hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial active ingredient. | Photo: Twitter/ @Independent

Published 21 May 2020

The trial seeks to clarify whether chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are actually effective in preventing the new coronavirus.

Oxford University will lead an international trial of two antimalarial drugs, including the controversial hydroxychloroquine, starting Thursday, with the participation of UK health workers.

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The trial seeks to clarify whether chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are actually effective in preventing the new coronavirus.

U.S. President Donald Trump has pushed for the use of these drugs, even claiming to be taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent the disease, despite medical warnings about its use.

The study will involve more than 40,000 frontline health workers from Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.

The University of Oxford will be supported by Mahidol Oxford's Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Bangkok. 

The study will involve those who are in close contact with patients with proven or suspected COVID-19.

"There are no conclusive studies on chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine. It is not known whether they are beneficial or harmful against COVID-19," University of Oxford Professor Nicholas White, co-principal investigator of the study, said.

In Britain, Europe and Africa, participants will receive hydroxychloroquine for three months.

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