NATIONAL NEWS - Ivermectin played a significant role in much of the improved statistics surrounding Covid-19 in South Africa, according to Dr Naseeba Kathrada, an activist for the use of the drug against the pandemic.
Kathrada spoke out about the controversial drug after it became known that the recovery rate increased dramatically from 88% to 92% over the past week.
At the same time, patients on ventilators dropped from 70% to 30% of hospitalised patients.
The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) approved the use of the drug, which is not registered for humans in the country, under very strict conditions.
This after doctors started advocating for the use of the drug, which is earmarked for animals but sometimes used for cases of river blindness and other parasitical illnesses in humans.
South Africans in their thousands started using the drug, leading to a shortage of Ivermectin at several farmer stores around the country, and resulted in farmers battling to vaccinate their animals.
“This widespread illegal use of the drug certainly contributed to the much improved statistics,” Kathrada told Izak du Plessis.
Kathrada’s claim comes amid concerns that South Africans will have to wait even longer to get vaccinated. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which arrived in the country last week, was recently found to be less effective against the South African strain of the coronavirus.
On Sunday, government suspended its rollout of the vaccine after preliminary data found it provided only “minimal protection” against the new variant.
Dr Angelique Coetzee, chairperson of the South African Medical Association, told Izak du Plessis that “it is back to square one now” for SA’s vaccine plans.