Dr Aroon Naraynsingh

PATIENTS DYING: Dr Aroon Naraynsingh, medical director of Medical Associates, at his St Joseph office. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

A Covid-19-positive man who was using Ivermectin at home got gravely ill and died upon reaching the Medical Associates hospital this week.

It was too late before the decision was made to get hospital care.

In a telephone interview with the Express yesterday, Medical Associates director Dr Aroon Naraynsingh urged people to not use Ivermectin to cure Covid but seek proper medical treatment at the hospitals.

Asked if there were other cases of people using Ivermectin at home and then turning up at Medical Associates when it was too late, Naraynsingh said there was.

He said his medical colleagues informed him that this was also the case in the public healthcare system.

Just last week, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said people in home isolation have been using the drug, to their demise.

The minister also urged people to discontinue the use of Ivermectin and not fork out exorbitant sums of money for the drug and at-home oxygen.

Naraynsingh told the Express that general practitioner (GP) doctors are giving people a combination of Ivermectin, steroids, antibiotics, vitamin B and intravenous (IV) fluids and they are not having good results. “By using the home system the results are not going to be good and it is likely they will not be treated at all but get more sick,” he said.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) there was a patient like that who died just on reaching the facility (Medical Associates, Chaguanas). This patient was an unvaccinated patient treated at home by the GP with Ivermectin,” he said.

Naraynsingh believes this country’s high Covid-19 death rate is attributable to comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension as well as obesity.

Fraudulent reports

Ivermectin tablets are approved for use in humans by the FDA in the United States to treat some parasitic worms, including intestinal roundworms or those that cause river blindness.

Topical treatments are also used for external parasites (head lice) and to help with skin conditions (rosacea).

For animals, Ivermectin is commonly used as a de-wormer.

To the Express noting that there have been international reports of Ivermectin being successfully used in Covid treatment, Naraynsingh responded, “There are various reports all over the world but these reports were analysed by the BBC and most were found to be fraudulent.”

Naraynsingh said Ivermectin use is of no benefit, is useless, and people should not take it.

He said other medication such as the steroids and antibiotics might be more helpful.

He said the parallel healthcare system is overwhelmed and cannot handle the patient load, which is a serious issue.

He said he understands people being Covid-positive and not feeling sick and therefore do not want to go into that overwhelmed system.

However, he cautioned that any person who has difficulty breathing must immediately seek hospital care.

Medical Associates, Chaguanas, is the first private hospital in Trinidad to provide Covid-19 treatment.

Waiting list

Asked about the demand, Naraynsingh said there is a waiting list. “The demand is there and there is a waiting list. Of course, we don’t have a high input/output facility but the demand is there,” he said.

Questioned about the medicines used in the public and private systems for Covid-19 treatment, Naraynsingh said the drugs are similar, save for some drugs that are quite expensive.

He said Medical Associates uses anti-inflammatory medications which he believes are not being used as commonly as they should be used in the public system.

Since Medical Associates started Covid-19 treatment it has recorded three deaths, two of which were elderly women.

In an interview with the Express in November 2021, Naraynsingh had said vaccination should be made mandatory in Trinidad and Tobago.

He said yesterday that the Government’s vaccine policy requiring that public sector workers be inoculated to work was necessary and a good policy.

Naraynsingh said if people resist vaccination the day would come when everybody would become infected.

“Everyone will get infected as I said before and when everybody gets infected then there will be much less incidence of the virus because an infection is a vaccination,” he said, noting that a person’s body gets the antibodies after getting infected.

However, he added it all depends on a person’s immunity and whether they are able to survive the virus.

Asked about the possibility of people getting reinfected after they get Covid-19, Naraynsingh said it happens but the chances of getting as ill are much less.

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