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Evidence of health professionals perpetuating Covid myths – CMO

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Dr Ayoola Oyinloye, Chief Medical Officer (File photograph)

Some healthcare professionals are perpetuating myths that home remedies are able to treat Covid-19, according to Bermuda’s Chief Medical Officer.

And he urged them to honour their Hippocratic oath – to “do no harm”.

Ayo Oyinloye was speaking during a Covid briefing yesterday afternoon when he revealed that some in the medical profession were endorsing a “cocktail of home remedies” and medicines such as Ivermectin over visiting their doctors or the Emergency Room for treatment.

The Premier, David Burt, also announced that the 12.30am to 5am curfew will be extended by two weeks and that schools could return to in-school learning as soon as next week. The Education Minister is due to give an update at 3pm today.

Dr Oyinloye said: “We do have evidence that some health professionals are perpetrating some of these myths in our society. Please remember your oath to first do no harm. It is important that we update ourselves with the most recent evidence around the management of this condition and not inadvertently spread this falsehood and perpetuate this myth that is basically hurting us all.“

While Dr Oyinloye did not specifically name any healthcare professionals, The Royal Gazettereported in May that a handful of doctors were prescribing Ivermectin – an anti-parasitic medicine – despite warnings against its use for the coronavirus by the World Health Organisation, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.

Dr Oyinloye added: “There have been a cocktail of vitamins, Ivermectin and things like that, that people are being asked to take. Let me be clear, that is not a substitute for your GP, they know your medical history.”

He said that many were leaving it too late to seek treatment for the coronavirus.

“Unfortunately, I have been seeing quite a number of people who tested positive and stayed away from healthcare until it was too late, and in a few instances there are people who did not even bother to test at all. We can do better than this Bermuda.”

Dr Oyinloye moved to dispel another myth that vaccinated people are driving the current outbreak because they are shedding spike proteins of the virus.

“That is simply not true,” he said.

“There is no basis for this in biology – the vaccines don’t contain any virus. Please speak to trusted health professionals.”

He added that another myth was that the high number of locally transmitted cases is because of SafeKey testing of the unvaccinated.

The Premier said that getting students safely back to school was a priority.

“The Government has prioritised the return of students to classrooms,” said Mr Burt.

“Students, parents and teachers have been resilient and we know that all are eager to return to their classrooms. We thank everyone for their patience while the government takes special care to ensure that we do this as safely as possible and that the return to school does not set us back on the path of seeing an end to this outbreak.”

Covid statistics

Seven out of ten deaths from Covid-19 announced on Wednesday claimed the lives of people over the age of 80, David Burt, the Premier, revealed.

According to Kim Wilson, the health minister, from January 11 to September 25, out of 235 hospital admissions, 215 or 91 per cent were not fully vaccinated.

Of the 48 deaths this year, 39 or 81 per cent struck in people not fully vaccinated.

In the fully vaccinated, the age ranges in both categories were from over 40 to over 80.

For the unvaccinated, it was over 20 to over 80.

Ayo Oyinloye, the Chief Medical Officer, also confirmed deaths among the unvaccinated were “happening in younger age groups”.

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, described the current outbreak as “frightening”.

She said: “Bermuda is a small community and these deaths are touching to all of us.

“We all know of someone or knew of someone who has become very ill or who has alternatively died from Covid.”

She strongly urged members of the community to do everything in their power to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Ms Wilson said booster vaccines will be available by next week.

The recommended target groups for booster vaccines are people who have immunosuppressing conditions and chronic health diseases, healthcare workers, essential workers and persons older than 50.

The Royal Gazette asked the Ministry of Health if the Chief Medical Officer would name the healthcare professionals he had concerns about and for more detail about what myths they were perpetuating. There has been no response yet.