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Published:Friday | February 26, 2021 | 12:15 AM

Doctors call for Ivermectin to fight COVID-19

The Jamaican Government has been urged to authorise the use of Ivermectin within its suite of drugs to treat patients with COVID-19.

Citing decades of safe clinical use, Dr Andrew Manning, president of the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ), said the drug's "potent anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties" have now been demonstrated against SARS-CoV-2, the technical name of the new coronavirus.

Ivermectin has been safely used for decades in the effective treatment of certain parasites in humans. Potent anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties have now been demonstrated against SARS CoV-2.

"A significant body of peer-reviewed evidence has now emerged pointing to the fact that Ivermectin may decrease the case counts and mortality rates when used as a prophylactic agent, and when used in the treatment of all stages of COVID-19," said Manning.

The MAJ president said that dispensation of the drug should be done at the discretion of qualified physicians.

Jamaica has seen a meteoric rise in COVID-19 cases in February, with total infections topping 22,260 and deaths climbing to 410.

The spike has seen hospitalisations more than double since the start of the month, with bed space in public healthcare facilities running out.

Offer long-term strategy for school crisis - Brown Burke

The Government has been criticised for failing to enunciate a holistic policy on face-to-face classes beyond students sitting exit exams.

Opposition Spokesperson Dr Angela Brown Burke is calling for the Ministry of Education to develop a policy for all students.

“Attention to all students is important because learning is cumulative, and focus on only the exam grades now compromises the prospects of future exam grades,” said Brown Burke.

Education Minister Fayval Williams reported on Wednesday that public schools should only allow access to physical plants to students preparing for exit exams at grades six, 11, 12, and 13.

Brown Burke is pushing for a policy on in-person early childhood education and the prioritisation of early vaccination against COVID-19.

She argued that "no thought is being given to more long-term arrangements such as decisions around reconstituting the summer holidays to make up for lost learning".