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Facebook, Twitter, YouTube remove video of US-based Nigerian doctor claiming hydroxychloroquine cures Covid-19

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A video of a Nigerian US-based doctor Stella Immanuel claiming that hydroxychloroquine cures coronavirus was pulled down by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube after going viral online Monday.

Immanuel said she had successfully treated more than 350 people in the United States with coronavirus using hydroxychloroquine, zinc and Zithromax.

US President Donald Trump shared multiple versions of the video with his 84 million Twitter. He has always advocated that hydroxychloroquine could prevent or treat COVID-19.

The video quickly went viral on Facebook, becoming one of the top-performing posts on the platform with over 14 million views. It was shared nearly 600,000 times, according to CrowdTangle, a data-analytics firm owned by Facebook.

But it was taken down for promoting misinformation, according to Facebook.

“We’ve removed this video for sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19,” a Facebook spokesperson told CNN, adding that the platform is “showing messages in News Feed to people who have reacted to, commented on or shared harmful COVID-19-related misinformation that we have removed, connecting them to myths debunked by the WHO.”

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Twitter worked to scrub the video late Monday night after Trump shared versions of the video that amassed hundreds of thousands of views.

“We’re taking action in line with our COVID misinformation policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told CNN.

Twitter took action against the videos that Trump retweeted. By early Tuesday morning, the videos were no longer able to be viewed on his account. Twitter also took action on a version of the video posted by Donald Trump Jr. and others shared by Breitbart News.

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The video was also removed by YouTube, where it had been viewed more than 40,000 times. Users attempting to access the video late Monday were greeted with a message that said it had been removed for “violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.”

Immanuel pointed to a study published by the United States’ National Institute of Health to back up her claims on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine and claimed in that much-maligned big pharma companies may have conspired against the use of the hydroxychloroquine to COVID-19.

However, the Food and Drug Administration a federal agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services cautioned against using hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients.

National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world’s foremost medical research centres in the US, also shared the same sentiment and halted its clinical trial of the drug, finding that it provided no benefits.

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Also, the Recovery trial run by Oxford University has involved 11,000 patients with coronavirus in hospitals across the UK and included testing hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness against the disease, along with other potential treatments.

It concluded that “there is no beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised with Covid-19” and the drug has now been pulled from the trial.

There’s been some hope that hydroxychloroquine could be effective if used early on when a person gets the virus before there’s a need for them to be hospitalised.

However, there’s no clear evidence on this and the jury is very much out as to its effectiveness in the early stages of infection.

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Kwara records eight new cases of COVID-19

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Kwara has recorded eight new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as at 11.45p.m on Monday, Aug 10.

The state now has a total of 865 confirmed cases of the virus, while one patient was discharged.

Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor and Spokesman of the Technical Committee on COVID-19, made this known in a statement on Tuesday day in Ilorin.

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According to him, out of the 865 confirmed cases, 516 patients were discharged leaving 330 active cases in the state.

Ajakaye said 19 deaths have been recorded out of the 3, 853 people tested for the virus.

He added that 2, 922 tested negative for coronavirus with 66 tests being awaited.

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(NAN)

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US gifts Nigeria 200 ventilators [Photos]

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The US ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Mary Leonard handing over the 200 ventilators to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire in Abuja on Tuesday. Credit, Adelani Adepegba

The United States has handed over 200 ventilators to Nigeria in fulfilment of the promise made by US President Donald Trump during a telephone conversation with the President, Maj Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in April 2020.

The medical equipment were handed over to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard at a ceremony in Abuja this morning.

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President Trump while making the promise said the US would support Nigeria during the pandemic.

Some of the ventilators

Speaking while accepting the ventilators, Ehanire said

“We shall be taking delivery these ventilators to shore up our intensive care response capability courtesy of the President of the United States and the US people.

“It is my pleasure to be here at the Premier Medical Warehouse Abuja at the invitation of  USAID Nigeria on behalf of the
USA government to receive valuable medical equipment that will support the Nigerian government in their fight against the COVID19 pandemic.”

Adding,

“This donation consists of 200 ventilators which are critical components of the response strategy that will help to save the lives of persons who have been severely impacted by #COVID19. These ventilators will be of great benefit to the people of Nigeria.”

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Coronavirus

Russia develops COVID-19 vaccine 

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President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess.

The development paves the way for the mass inoculation of the Russian population, even as the final stage of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continue.

The speed at which Russia is moving to roll out its vaccine highlights its determination to win the global race for an effective product but has stirred concerns that it may be putting national prestige before sound science and safety.

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Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had even been administered to one of his daughters.

“I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks,” said Putin.

He said he hoped the country would soon start mass-producing the vaccine.

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Its approval by the health ministry foreshadows the start of a larger trial involving thousands of participants, commonly known as a Phase III trial.

Such trials, which require a certain rate of participants catching the virus to observe the vaccine’s effect, are normally considered essential precursors for a vaccine to receive regulatory approval.

Regulators around the world have insisted that the rush to develop COVID-19 vaccines will not compromise safety. But recent surveys show growing public distrust in governments’ efforts to rapidly-produce such a vaccine.

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Russian health workers treating COVID-19 patients will be offered the chance of volunteering to be vaccinated soon after the vaccine’s approval, a source told Reuters last month.

More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. At least four are in final Phase III human trials, according to WHO data.

Reuters

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