EDITORIAL NOTE: This story has been corrected and updated
Healthcare workers including doctors are lobbying for the use of the drug Ivermectin, a drug which treats parasitic and viral infections in pets, to treat and prevent the coronavirus.
This as infections and COVID-19 related deaths breach the 3 0000 mark in the country.
South Africa currently stands 1 113 349 cumulative cases, with a recovery rate of 81.9%, as seen in the graphic below:
Specialist at the Lenmed Shifaa Hospital Dr Farida Amod says while the vaccine is being procured, Ivermectin can help to reduce the number of coronavirus infections and COVID-19 related deaths.
“Ivermectin in some randomised controlled trials and in some epidemiologic settings where they’ve used it for mass programmes has been shown to have been very positive So I think when you have a situation where the need is so dire and immediate, we can’t wait for new drugs because that takes time. So, to use re-purposed drugs like ivermectin is an excellent idea.”
Dr Amod says Ivermectin is a therapeutic bridge between where we are now till when the vaccine becomes widely available. It does not replace the vaccine or fill the vital gap of an effective vaccine.
She says it has been successfully rolled out in overseas countries to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Two weeks ago, the South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA) had banned Ivermectin, saying there was no clinical evidence to support claims that it’s a miracle cure for COVID-19.
It further warned that its use could lead to harmful effects and even death.
However, SAHPRA has since said it’s currently reviewing new data it has received regarding the use of Ivermectin, as outlined in the video below: