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UFS warns against WhatsApp voicenote


26 January 2021

“The voice clip is premature and was shared with a small group, from where it went viral."

Suzuki Ermelo (WEB) 22 September

The University of the Free State (UFS) has stated that it is in the process of preparing a clinical trial protocol to determine the efficacy of Ivermectin in the fight against COVID-19. This is being handled by FARMOVS, a wholly-owned clinical research company of the university, together with several medical and scientific experts at the university. The clinical trial protocol will be for a randomised, controlled study according to the requirements of the legal professions, to submit it for approval to the relevant national regulatory authority. UFS management distanced the institution from a viral WhatsApp voice clip that is being circulated, in which reference is made to a particular meeting, and mention is made of the role the institution is playing in establishing the efficacy of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19.

“The voice clip is premature and was shared with a small group, from where it went viral. The voice clip is also not factual, specifically regarding the university and its alleged opinion pertaining to the usage and need for scientific investigation into the matter. The UFS is committed to rigorous science and evidence-based research, and both FARMOVS and the university fully support the published opinions and guidelines of SAHPRA and the scientific advisory boards established by the scientific community, as well as the stance of the SA government on Ivermectin for COVID-19.”

The university statement comes as AfriForum said it had brought an urgent court application against the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and Dr Zweli Mkhize, minister of health, to ensure that Ivermectin developed for human consumption is available to doctors who want to prescribe it to treat COVID-19. SAHPRA has until now failed to approve applications by doctors, which were brought in terms of section 21 of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, to have Ivermectin approved for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

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