Dettol issues warning after Donald Trump claims ‘disinfectant’ injections can help tackle coronavirus
Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Under “no circumstance” should disinfectants be injected or consumed, the company which makes Dettol has warned, following comments made by US president Donald Trump.
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The US president is facing a backlash after suggesting it would be “interesting to check” whether a disinfectant injection could help combat coronavirus.
During his latest press conference, Trump said researchers were looking at the effects of disinfectants on Covid-19.
Wondering aloud if they could be injected into people, he added the virus “does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that”.
In response to the Trump’s comments, William Bryan of the Department of Homeland Security science and technology unit said health officials were not considering such treatment.
Parastou Donyai, director of pharmacy practice and professor of social and cognitive pharmacy at the University of Reading, said: “What is shocking about these latest comments is that they completely bypass other important facts about injections too.
“Not only will home-made injections bruise, burn, or block the veins, they will almost certainly also introduce new infections straight into the body, the very thing people are desperate to avoid.
“People worried about the coronavirus or Covid-19 should seek help from a qualified doctor or pharmacist, and not take unfounded and off-the-cuff comments as actual advice.”
Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, said Trump’s briefings were “actively endangering the public’s health”.
“Boycott the propaganda. Listen to the experts. And please don’t drink disinfectant,” he said.
Disinfectant manufacturer RB, the company behind the Dettol and Lysol brands, urged people not to try the method.
The company issued a statement saying: “Due to recent speculation and social media activity, RB has been asked whether internal administration of disinfectants may be appropriate for investigation or use as a treatment for coronavirus.
“As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route).”
It added that all its products should only be used as intended and according to usage guidelines.
Downing Street has distanced itself from the remarks, with the prime minister’s official spokesman confirming there were no plans to look into following Trump’s suggestion in the UK.
He told reporters: “No, it is not something that is being looked at here.”
Probed on whether Boris Johnson thought the president’s Dettol remarks were a responsible suggestion to make, his spokesman added: “We can only speak for the UK’s response and in relation to disinfectant, I’m certainly not aware it is anything that is being recommended.
“Our approach is being driven by UK science and medical advice.”
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