The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday warned governments against treating infected coronavirus patients with medications not scientifically proven to fight the pathogen.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued the warning as cases of Covid-19, the respiratory ailment caused by the coronavirus that emerged in China late last year, surged worldwide, prompting health authorities to scramble to find treatments.
“We call on all individuals and countries to refrain from using therapeutics that have not been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of Covid-19,” Tedros said. “The history of medicine is thrown with examples of drugs that worked on paper, or in a test tube, but didn’t work in humans, or were actually harmful.”
“During the most recent Ebola epidemic, for example, some medicines that were thought to be effective were found not to be as effective as other medicines, when they were compared during a clinical trial,” he said. “We must follow the evidence. There are no short cuts.”