a Cytotoxicity and antiviral activities of CQ and HCQ. The cytotoxicity of the two drugs in Vero E6 cells was determined by CCK-8 assays. Vero E6 cells were treated with different doses of either compound or with PBS in the controls for 1 h and then infected with SARS-CoV-2 at MOIs of 0.01, 0.02, 0.2, and 0.8. The virus yield in the cell supernatant was quantified by qRT-PCR at 48 h p.i. Y-axis represents the mean of percent inhibition normalized to the PBS group. The experiments were repeated twice. b, c Mechanism of CQ and HCQ in inhibiting virus entry. Vero E6 cells were treated with CQ or HCQ (50 μM) for 1 h, followed by virus binding (MOI = 10) at 4 °C for 1 h. Then the unbound virions were removed, and the cells were further supplemented with fresh drug-containing medium at 37 °C for 90 min before being fixed and stained with IFA using anti-NP antibody for virions (red) and antibodies against EEA1 for EEs (green) or LAMP1 for ELs (green). The nuclei (blue) were stained with Hoechst dye. The portion of virions that co-localized with EEs or ELs in each group (n > 30 cells) was quantified and is shown in b. Representative confocal microscopic images of viral particles (red), EEA1+ EEs (green), or LAMP1+ ELs (green) in each group are displayed in c. The enlarged images in the boxes indicate a single vesicle-containing virion. The arrows indicated the abnormally enlarged vesicles. Bars, 5 μm. Statistical analysis was performed using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with GraphPad Prism (F = 102.8, df = 5,182, ***P < 0.001).