Healthcare workers at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals will be involved in testing whether chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19.
Laboratory evidence shows that these well-established drugs might be effective in preventing or treating COVID-19 but there is no conclusive proof. Brought to the world’s attention by comments made by US President Donald Trump, the drugs are being widely used in some countries, despite the lack of strong evidence.
Internationally, the trial will recruit 40,000 healthcare workers in SE Asia, Africa and Europe. In the UK, Professor Llewelyn will lead the evaluation at around 20 acute NHS hospitals.
Prof Llewelyn said: “Even though the lockdown has brought the rate of infection right down in the UK, healthcare workers will continue to be at risk of COVID-19, especially as measures are relaxed. A widely available, safe and effective vaccine may be a long way off.