A leading pulmonologist, Dr Emmanuel Taban, has pleaded with South Africans not to be misled over claims on social media that ivermectin will protect them from Covid-19, reported TimesLive (20 July 2021).
Taban posted on Facebook that two out of every three patients now being admitted to the hospital were taking ivermectin. “Most of these patients have been taking ivermectin which was prescribed by doctors and as a result they feel protected,” he said. He warned that people using the drug — which is an anti-parasitic medication meant for animals — believed they were safe from contracting Covid-19 which in turn led to unsafe behaviour such as not wearing masks or sanitising their hands.
In January, the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) issued a directive that there was not enough data available on the drug for it to be used in managing Covid-19 infections.
Meanwhile, a study led by Dr Ahmed Elgazzar from Benha University in Egypt investigating the drug's efficacy in treating Covid-19 was withdrawn last week after a British master’s student discovered that the study's introduction appeared to have been plagiarised from websites and press releases about the drug and Covid-19.