The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) plan to begin clinical trials to study the effectiveness of Ivermectin as a prophylaxis on close contact of Covid-19 patients to prevent the spread, as early as next month. ICR Director Dr Kalairasu M. Periasamy said the Randomised, Double Blind, Placebo Controlled Clinical Trial of Ivermectin For Post Exposure Prophylaxis For Covid-19 Infection Among Close Contacts (I-CPEP) study, targeted a total of 300 participants aged 18 and above. He said the participants were close contacts on Covid-19 patients, in four selected states involving 10 health facilities in several districts in Kedah, Perak, Penang and Perlis. “Participants will be asked to undergo real-time polymer rapid testing (RT-PCR) twice before the study is implemented and on the eighth day of the study. “These individuals will be observed while they undergo quarantine similar to the guidelines issued by the MOH for close contact cases. They will also be given Ivermectin on the first and second day during the quarantine period," he said. Dr Kalairasu, however, was still waiting for approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division (NPRA) to carry out this clinical study. "This clinical study will be stopped after we receive the required number of samples, which is 300 people," he said. Previously, MOH had conducted a study of the effectiveness of Ivermectin treatment to 500 high-risk Covid-19 patients and the results of the study concluded treatment methods using Ivermectin were not recommended for inclusion in existing treatment guidelines as it did not reduce the risk of severe stage infections.