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AfriForum approaches court to have Ivermectin used to treat COVID-19

The lobby group filed an urgent High Court application in Pretoria against the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

FILE: A hospital worker walks amongst patients in the COVID-19 ward at Khayelitsha Hospital, about 35km from the centre of Cape Town, on 29 December 2020. The patents in this ward are not critically serious, but do require oxygen and to lie down. Picture: Rodger Bosch/AFP.

CAPE TOWN - AfriForum has approached the courts seeking approval for the use of the drug Ivermectin to treat COVID-19.

The lobby group filed an urgent High Court application in Pretoria on Monday against the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
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It wanted the antiparasitic drug to be authorised to treat coronavirus infections.

AfriForum’s head of research Barend Uys said: “SAHPRA 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.”

In South Africa, Ivermectin is only allowed for the treatment of parasitic infections in animals.

AfriForum sought a declaratory order that the drug is safe for human use, subject to it being properly administered in a controlled manner by a medical practitioner.

The court case is expected to be heard next week.

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