We must be cautious in spreading COVID-19 'facts'

Letters to the Editor

We must be cautious in spreading COVID-19 'facts'

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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Dear Editor,
I wish to respond to Teddylee Gray's letter to the editor, titled 'What's with this obsession with Cuba and China?', published on March 23, 2020.

I hasten to tackle an argument presented that states with such certainty that antimalarial drugs Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquin are current treatments for the dreaded coronavirus disease. Both drugs have shown in vitro activity against other forms of coronaviruses in the past when used in conjunction with other medication, but it is has not been declared officially as a singular treatment plan against this particular virus. My understanding is that these drugs were named among some 60 treatments to be tested by scientists and health officials to check the the efficacy and effectiveness against the virus.

Just recently Nigeria made headlines for instances of poisoning due to overdosing in parts of the country with Chloroquine. This was unfortunately driven by the premature comments made by US President Donald Trump in a recent press briefing touting the drug as “a promising treatment for COVID-19, and it was now available via prescription”. The US Food and Drug Association (FDA) later issued a statement clarifying that the drug in question was not an approved treatment for COVID-19, as they are currently only in the process of examining its use against the disease.

We must be very mindful and exercise keen discretion and discernment during these desperate periods, especially as it pertains to preventative and treatment information that is disseminated on websites and media platforms daily. Ignorance of the facts is certainly not an option now. So stay woke, everyone.

Tara Henry

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