Researchers in Singapore have found that an antiseptic throat spray and an oral drug usually prescribed to treat malaria and arthritis have been found to effectively reduce the spread of COVID-19 in high-transmission settings, according to a media report on Sunday.
The findings were made based on a large-scale clinical trial conducted last May, involving more than 3,000 migrant workers living in Tuas South Dormitory in the Industrial District of Singapore, Channel News Asia reported.
“This is the first study to demonstrate the benefits of prophylactic, or preventive therapy with either oral hydroxychloroquine or povidone-iodine throat spray in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infection among quarantined individuals living in a closed and high exposure setting,” said lead author of the clinical study, Associate Professor Raymond Seet from the National University Hospital (NUH).
During the six-week trial, workers were given a povidone-iodine throat spray, which can be bought off the counter, and oral hydroxychloroquine, which requires a prescription.
According to the study, both were found to reduce the incidence of coronavirus infection.