Global Covid-19 Trial On Antimalarial Drugs Starts

The COPCOV trial studies hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that Donald Trump takes to supposedly prevent coronavirus.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — Health care workers in Britain and Thailand have started participating in a trial on two antimalarial drugs as potential Covid-19 treatment.

The trial — which comprises more than 40,000 health care workers from Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America — looks to conclude whether chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine could treat the coronavirus, as reported by Reuters.

Lead study investigators in Thailand and Britain noted that the COPCOV trial has been in the works for several months now, and that results from the trial should deflate any heated and impractical debate.

“We still do not know whether anything is beneficial in Covid-19,” the University of Oxford’s Professor Nicholas White, who is the study’s co-principal investigator based at the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Bangkok, told Reuters.

“The only way we can find out if things are beneficial overall is to do large, well-conducted clinical trials,” White was quoted saying, “These are extremely well-established drugs.”

The COPCOV trial investigators reported that although laboratory evidence has shown the antimalarial drugs’ potential effectiveness in preventing or treating the Covid-19, there is no conclusive proof to date. Accord Healthcare has donated the hydroxychloroquine and matched placebo, as reported by Reuters.

Back in early April, demand for hydroxychloroquine skyrocketed after US president Donald Trump hyped up the medication. Early this week last Monday, the US president announced that he had been taking this medication as a preventive measure against the novel coronavirus, despite medical warnings from the US Food and Drug Administration against such use.

“I’m taking it—hydroxychloroquine. I’ve been taking it for the last week and a half. A pill every day,” Trump was quoted saying.

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