SA court gives go ahead for Covid-19 drug

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FILE PHOTO: An ampule of Gilead Sciences COVID-19 antiviral remdesivir is pictured during a news conference at the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) in Hamburg, Germany, April 8, 2020, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. Ulrich Perrey/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Pumza Fihlani BBC News, Johannesburg

A court in South Africa has ruled that doctors can use an anti-parasitic drug as a part of custom-made treatment for patients with Covid-19.

Ivermectin was only recently registered in the country to treat animals.

Trials to test its effectiveness in treating coronavirus have produced mixed results and South Africa’s medicines regulator had expressed concerns over the lack of sufficient evidence.

Four groups, including some medical doctors, went to court to get the drug approved, arguing that they had seen some positive results when used on patients in a critical condition.

The vaccination campaign has begun slowly in Africa’s worst hit country, and there are concerns about a third wave in the coming winter months.