LONDON 

The UK will start clinical testing of anti-malaria drugs on frontline health workers, to find whether they are effective in preventing coronavirus or COVID-19.

The trials of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine will start in the hospitals in Brighton and Oxford.

The anti-malaria drugs have been prescribed as a preventative measure in various countries to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

But so far there is no scientific evidence that they keep the virus away.

At a press conference earlier this week, US President Donald Trump said he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a “preventative” measure.

The trial in the UK is part of an investigation project by the Bangkok-based Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), supported by the University of Oxford and health charity organization Wellcome.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said 181 health workers and 131 care workers have died from the COVID-19 in the country.

According to the US-based Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre, the UK has so far reported 248,293 COVID-19 cases with 35,704 deaths.

The country has the worst tally in Europe and second across the world.

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