It's supposed to be effective only for those with incipient cases as a prophylactic, not for those having to be hospitalised.

Many countries are using it widely or as the central pillar of their treatment (including South Korea) and Piedmont's pharmacies now distribute it for free; the idea being you take it as soon as you feel in any way awry:

All this has been happening outside of the anglophone/Trump bubble - a typical instance of our media ignoring anything written in foreign.


On a related note, I have not seen any mediatised attempt to assess whether we've actually got better at treating it here - which is a bit of a scandal, given how comparatively poor our stats are.


Beast of Burden
There may be newer studies, and research India suggests it may be useful for healthcare workers who suffer from heavy exposure, but...

“The pandemic Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) has pushed the global health care system to a crisis and amounted to a huge economic and societal burden,” Shah and colleagues wrote. “Prevention of transmission of the disease in the population, particularly among high-risk individuals, is the urgent need of the hour. Different drugs for prophylaxis against COVID-19 including CQ or HCQ have been tried. Although pre-clinical results are promising, till date, there is dearth of good quality evidence to support the clinical efficacy of CQ or HCQ in preventing COVID-19.”

They added, “Because of the lack of robust clinical evidence till date, and duly considering the questionable efficacy, safety concerns, danger of deprivation of these essential drugs to legitimate patients, due to panic stocking and instilling a false sense of protection among the common mass, the prophylactic use of CQ or HCQ against COVID-19 needs to be further reviewed as more data pour in.”