Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malarial drug prescribed for the treatment of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Its effect against COVID-19 has not been widely verified in clinical trials, and reports about it have been largely anecdotal and/or misinterpreted. South Korea is one of several countries in which hydroxychloroquine has been administered to some coronavirus patients. Studies exploring the drug’s effectiveness have yielded inconclusive results in the United States, France and China.
Public health authorities, including the World Health Organization, attribute South Korea’s relative success against COVID-19 to an early coordinated public-health response using testing, contact tracing and isolation of cases.