Healthcare staff urged to join COVID drugs trial

HEALTHCARE workers in Dudley are being asked to join a global Covid-19 drugs trial.

Careworkers, GPs, ambulance crews and hospital staff – including porters and catering staff – can take part in the study through The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust.

The COPCOV trial will determine whether a daily dose of chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine can protect healthcare workers from catching the infection, and whether taking the drugs at the time people catch coronavirus may also mean they become less sick.

The study is being funded by an initiative backed by Bill and Melinda Gates, Wellcome and Mastercard, to speed up development of and access to therapies for Covid-19.

It is being sponsored by The University of Oxford and around 25 sites will take part.

Healthcare workers are being recruited as they are a higher risk group. They must be aged over 18, not previously diagnosed with Covid-19 and not currently symptomatic with a respiratory tract infection to take part.

They will also need to have a smartphone.

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been used for more than 50 years to prevent and treat malaria and to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Health chiefs consider them to have an excellent safety profile and laboratory studies show they have antiviral activity.

Any healthcare worker interested in taking part in the study can register online at An option to select Dudley as their test site will be available shortly.