Spain’s Ministry of Health announced earlier this week that the country was planning to launch a drug trial on keeping health workers safe from the novel coronavirus.
The trial will involve giving known medicines to approximately 4,000 professionals serving at dozens of hospitals in an attempt to stop the contraction of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
As part of the trial, a group of volunteers will take hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to treat malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, while another group will take anti-HIV medicines and a third one will be given a placebo.
Health Minister Salvador Illa told the media that the research (the Clinical Trial for the Prevention of Coronavirus Infection in Health Workers – Epicos) was the biggest of its kind in all of Europe.
Based on the results in the study, researchers are hoping to be able to adopt certain treatments for the general public.
Coronavirus infection among the health personnel has become a primary concern in the Spanish health system. Of all confirmed coronavirus patients in the country, around 15 percent are health workers (almost 20,000) and 10 percent of them have been hospitalized.
Over 100 proposals for drug trials have been made to health authorities in Spain last month, 21 of which have been approved so far.
Spain’s daily death toll from the coronavirus went up to 619 on Sunday, indicating a new increase after steadily dropping in the past few days. The total number of deaths has hit 16,972.