The anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine will be used in a trial covering 3,000 patients at a hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and the results will be tracked in a formal study, said US Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence told a White House briefing on Sunday that they were "more than prepared" to make hydroxychloroquine available to doctors' offices and pharmacies in the Detroit area, reports Xinhua news agency.

Hydroxychloroquine stockpiled: Trump

President Donald Trump said the federal government has stockpiled 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine. Last week, Trump said hydroxychloroquine was being administered to 1,100 patients in New York along with Z-Pak, or azithromycin.

mike-pence-receives-awkward-silence-after-mentioning-trump-in-a-speech-to-european-leaders
Mike Pence

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the White House briefing on Saturday there was no "definitive information to be able to make any comment" on whether the drug can be used to treat coronavirus.

US stepping up efforts

The US is stepping up the development of treatments for COVID-19 patients, including experimenting with hydroxychloroquine and blood-related therapies, as confirmed cases and death toll continues to rise.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the US reached 337,620 as of Monday, the highest in the world, with 9,643 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.