Yup, that's how the authors characterised it.
Global clinical trial of 40,000+ healthcare workers begins to test in UK if chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19
The Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health is a world leading Centre within the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, comprised of research groups who are permanently based in Africa and Asia as well as across two sites in Oxford.
Note this bit:A global study to test if either chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19 in vital frontline healthcare workers will open to UK participants at hospital sites in Brighton and Oxford today.
Laboratory evidence shows that these well-established drugs might be effective in preventing or treating COVID-19 but there is no conclusive proof. Despite the lack of strong evidence these drugs are being widely recommended, and they are being widely used in some countries– so finding out if they can protect against COVID-19 - yes or no - is of tremendous importance.
Led by the University of Oxford and Wellcome supported Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Bangkok, Thailand, the COPCOV study is a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial that will enrol 40,000+ frontline healthcare workers and staff from Europe, Africa, Asia and South America who have close contact with patients with COVID-19 to determine definitively if chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are effective in preventing COVID-19.
“COVID-19 is a major risk for frontline healthcare workers around the world,” said COPCOV Co-Principal Investigator Professor Sir Nicholas White, of the University of Oxford who is based at MORU.
“We really do not know if chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are beneficial or harmful against COVID-19. The best way to find out if they are effective in preventing COVID-19 is in a randomised clinical trial. That’s what COPCOV is – and why we’re doing this study,” said Prof White.
It seems quite possible that the fact that a very effective propaganda effort has led to the widespread clinical use of a drug with no clear application to COVID-19 infection means that the question finally has got to be settled one way or another, to avoid further waste of time and resources if (as seems likely enough) this drug is without significant clinical value against this virus.Despite the lack of strong evidence these drugs are being widely recommended, and they are being widely used in some countries– so finding out if they can protect against COVID-19 - yes or no - is of tremendous importance.
And let us not forget that the Lancet study suggested that it may be well be significantly harmful to patients suffering from a fully developed infection.