Five new drugs are to be trialled in 30 hospitals across the country in the race to find a treatment for Covid-19, it has emerged.

Just days after World Health Organization trials of hydroxychloroquine, the drug promoted by Donald Trump as a cure, were halted, British scientists are looking to sign up hundreds of patients for trials of medicines they hope will prevent people becoming ill enough to need intensive care or ventilators.

They range from drugs such as Heparin, which is used for blood thinning, to therapies still in clinical trial for conditions such as muscular, lung and blood disorders,which have evidence of potent anti-viral or anti-inflammatory properties.