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Public Health Consultant faults Dr. Immanuel’s COVID-19 claims

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A Public Health Consultant, Dr. Adegboyega Oyefabi, has faulted Dr. Stella Immanuel, a Nigerian-trained U.S based doctor’s claims of using Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, and Zithromax, for curing some patients for COVID-19 pandemic.

Oyefabi, the Team Lead, Infectious Disease Control Centre in Kaduna State, spoke in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday.

Immanuel had on July 27, addressed the media after America’s Frontline Doctors Summit in Washington, saying that Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc and Zithromax, cure COVID-19.

She had in a viral video attested to treating over 350 patients in her clinic in Houston, Texas, with the combination of Hydrochloroquine (HCQ), Zinc and Zithromax.

Oyefabi said currently, there was no known cure for COVID-19, adding that the most medications being used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients were based on clinical trials.

“Hydroxychloroquine is not a new discovery. We have been using it with Azithromycin and Zinc in many treatment and isolation centres in Nigeria.

“We also use antiviral regimen, and just only multivitamin regimen.The use of any of these is based on clinical presentations.

“We have managed and discharged more than a 1,000 patients in our centres in Kaduna, using these various regimen,” he said.

Oyefabi, who practices at the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Kaduna State University, said the problem with Immanuel’s presentation and argument was to say that it was the cure for COVID-19.

“That would mean that I can equally make noise in the media and say antiviral regimen that we have used for more than 1,000 patients in our four isolation centres in Kaduna, and all discharged, is cure.

“There is no known cure for now. Some regimens as stated above had helped in recovery,” Oyefabi said.

According to him, viral diseases are mostly self-limiting, adding that building one’s immunity with good food, rest, multivitamins and supportive treatment like Hydroxychloroquine, some antiviral agents and antibiotics were beneficial.

He said medical science was conservative, and required a lot of soberness and sensibility in attesting a cure for a disease.

“You need to do your random clinical trials in varied phases, compare your findings, do rigorous peer review, convince fellow medics and submit to medical authority for scrutiny,” he said.

Oyefabi added that for a pandemic like COVID-19, which had been declared a disease of Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), clearance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) expert committee would be required.

Similarly, the Guild of Medical Directors had said that there was no scientific proof to back Dr Stella Immanuel, a Nigerian-trained U.S based doctor’s claim of cure for COVID-19 pandemic.

Its President, Prof. Olufemi Babalola, said the  viral video of Immanuel had been shared all over the country, and led to many people justifiably asking the question, “What do you think, doctor”?

Babalola, in a statement on Tuesday, said that the video, where Immanuel claimed cure for COVID-19, was part of a news conference organised by the America’s Frontline Doctors, a group founded by Dr Simone Gold, a board-certified physician and attorney.

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