'Don't know if these drugs are beneficial/harmful against COVID-19'
Oxford University Professor Nicholas White, one of the study's leaders, said, "We really do not know if chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are beneficial or harmful against COVID-19." White said a randomized controlled trial such as this one may be the best way to find out.
'If drugs can prevent COVID-19, it would be incredibly valuable'
Prof Martin Llewelyn from Brighton and Sussex Medical School—who is also leading the study—said, "A widely available, safe and effective vaccine may be a long way off."
Llewelyn added, "If drugs as well-tolerated as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine could reduce the chances of catching COVID-19, this would be incredibly valuable." The drugs are used to prevent and treat malaria and can reduce fever and inflammation.
Trump claims he's taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19
Hydroxychloroquine has become quite popular since US President Trump called it a "game-changer" in the fight against COVID-19. Notably, studies have been inconclusive over the drug's efficacy against the disease and some even suggest it may worsen a patient's condition.
Recently, Trump said he has been taking the drug. He has said his regimen will end in a "day or two."