A health worker shows a box containing a bottle of Ivermectin. Picture: AFP
A health worker shows a box containing a bottle of Ivermectin. Picture: AFP

Ivermectin may be Covid-19 wonder drug that may save SA - doctor

By Zelda Venter Time of article published Jan 26, 2021

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Pretoria - While it is critical to find an lasting solution to the Covid-19 pandemic, ivermectin may well be the “wonder drug” that could save the nation and restore the livelihoods of South African citizens.

This is according to Pretoria East doctor George Coetzee, who launched an urgent application, together with two of his patients, for permission to be able to use ivermectin as a treatment.

He said his patients urgently required the administration of ivermectin in the treatment of Covid-19.

AfriForum, which is part of the urgent application due to be heard by the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria next week, represents a class of persons who have contracted Covid-19 and want to use the drug.

They are, among other things, asking the court for an urgent order to ensure that ivermectin be developed for human consumption and made available to doctors who want to prescribe it to treat Covid-19.

They say that the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority has, until now, failed to approve applications by doctors to have ivermectin approved for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

Although ivermectin has been available for human consumption in several countries for many years, it is only used in South Africa as a livestock drug.

Coetzee said in an affidavit that the only way to ensure the safety of citizens wanting to use the drug or already using it, is to make ivermectin available to the public in an orderly manner, and under the treatment of medical practitioners.

This is to eliminate the risk associated with the consumption of animal products.

According to him, regulators and the Department of Health, in its refusal for the drug to be used at this stage, are overlooking the seriousness and extent of the Covid-19 pandemic and the crisis in which South Africa finds itself.

“The prevailing circumstances constitute a novel situation. On January 21, South Africa recorded a total number of 157 863 active cases.

“The approach by the regulator and the department to require robust evidence to be submitted, prior to approving applications for individualised use of ivermectin, is not a luxury that South Africa can endure in light of the serious crisis presented,” Coetzee said.

He added that the resurgence of Covid-19 necessitates innovative thinking and new approaches.

“The approach to simply focus on behavioural changes of citizens and the acquisition of vaccines, although accepted as relevant and applicable, will simply not carry the day. The crisis is deepening and increasing daily,” he said.

According to Coetzee, to demand clinical trials in the face of the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic and the data already known, would simply be unethical.

He said there were widespread reports of the use of ivermectin as a prophylaxes or for the treatment of Covid-19 in South Africa, using the veterinary product.

Coetzee further said that studies had proven that ivermectin was is a safe, effective, fast acting and an inexpensive wonder drug.

Insofar as the coronavirus is concerned, studies indicate that it assists the body’s immune system to “fight back” and recover, often within a short period of only 48 hours, he said.

“It cannot be disputed that it is safe. Ivermectin is a wonder drug that has been around for decades and it is extensively used by humans,” Coetzee said.

The respondents, meanwhile, still have to file their opposing papers to the application.

Pretoria News

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