Australian Researchers Launch Hydroxychloroquine Trial in High-risk Health Workers

THOUSANDS of frontline doctors and nurses in Australia will take part in a widespread clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine, a controversial drug that has been claimed to defend against COVID-19.

Announced on Wednesday and codenamed, the study COVID SHIELD will be led by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research – WEHI, in Melbourne, and funded by the Australian government.

Co-leader of the study, Professor Ian Wicks from the Royal Melbourne Hospital said that hydroxychloroquine had been trialed before as a treatment for COVID-19, but the study was the first to test the drug as a preventive measure against the virus.

During the four-month trial period, half of the 2,250 participants will be given hydroxychloroquine, while the other half will receive a placebo tablet.

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