Downing Street rejected Donald Trump’s suggestion that injections of disinfectant could treat the coronavirus, saying “this is not something that is being considered here.”
The President of the United States sparked a violent reaction from the medical community when he said that it would be “worth checking” if the administration of intravenous cleansers could be used as a treatment for Covid-19.
Household brands Dettol and Lysol have issued a statement warning the public that “under no circumstances” will their brands be used to treat coronavirus.
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When asked if there is any work going on in the UK on the use of disinfectant as a treatment, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson replied, “No, it is not something that is being discussed here. . “
Pressed to know whether it was Mr. Trump’s responsibility to make such comments, the spokesman said, “We can only speak for the UK’s response.
“Regarding the disinfectant, I’m certainly not aware that this is something that has been recommended. Our approach is guided by UK science and medical advice. “
Dr Jenny Harries, the assistant chief physician, later said at the daily Downing Street press conference: “I would not have a specific message for Donald Trump, I would have a specific message for anyone who suggested that they should inject anything into their body.
“I mean, clearly we wouldn’t argue, from a medical professional point of view, it’s really important that people use appropriate treatments that are evidence-based and tested. “
Trump made the comments during a White House press briefing on the coronavirus on Thursday.
Speaking to one of his advisers, he said, “I see this disinfectant, where he wipes it out in a minute, a minute. And is it possible to do something like this? By internal injection, or almost cleaning?
“Because you see, it gets into the lungs and makes a huge number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that out. So you’re going to have to go to doctors with … so it sounds interesting to me. ”
A few hours later, the manufacturer of disinfectant RB, which produces Dettol and Lysol, urged the public not to try the method.
The company issued a statement saying, “Due to recent speculation and social media activity, RB has been asked whether the internal administration of disinfectants may be appropriate for an investigation or use as a treatment for coronavirus.
“As the world leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear: in no case should our disinfectants be administered into the human body (by injection, ingestion or any other route).”
William Bryan, of the US Department of Homeland Security’s science and technology unit, also said that US health officials are not considering such treatment.