Northern Ireland's chief medical officer is urging doctors to recruit as many Covid-19 patients as possible for national clinical trials.
Dr Michael McBride has co-signed a letter being sent to medics around the UK to remind colleagues that lives will be saved as a result of the ongoing trials aimed at finding effective treatments, which are taking place in the community, on hospital wards and in intensive care units.
A letter co-signed by the UK's chief medical officers stated: "As yet there are no proven treatments for Covid-19.
"We need to gather reliable evidence through clinical trials. Using international evidence and UK expertise the most promising potential treatments, at this stage, have been identified and the UK is running national clinical trials to gather evidence across the whole disease spectrum."
The letter continued: "These trials are being run as simply as they can to reduce the burden on the NHS, with adaptive designs so further treatments can be added if new promising candidates are identified.
"The results are essential to the future treatment of UK and global patients.
"The faster patients are recruited, the sooner we will get reliable results. The evidence will be used to inform treatment decisions and benefit patients in the immediate future."