Oyewale Tomori, a professor of virology and Chairman of Expert Committee on COVID-19, has dismissed claims by Doctor Stella Immanuel on the usage of hydroxychloroquine to cure COVID-19.
Dr Immanuel, a Cameroonian-American physician, author, and pastor based in the United States, in a video that went viral on social media, claimed that she treated over 350 patients using hydroxychloroquine.
The video has generated global criticism with different health bodies countering her claim.
Speaking with SaharaReporters, Prof Tomori said Dr Immanuel’s claim had no scientific backing, stressing that her claim has yet to be proven.
He said, “There are quite a lot of videos disproving what she said. She has no scientific proof of what she said. She made a few comments that made one a bit worried. It is a bit difficult to believe what she said.
“She claimed to have treated 350 cases, but the way of science is to document those things, put it in papers, and publish it so that people will see. It is not waking up one day to say, ‘I have treated 350 people.’
“She has not proven a case. Usually, when scientists say they have done this, they will point you to the paper where they published it.”
Prof Tomori said while hydroxychloroquine could be used as prophylaxis, it has been proven to be ineffective to treat COVID-19.
He said, “Before we conclude, we should take all this information and available evidence. There is no proof to confirm what she said.
“There is evidence that if you are sick and you use chloroquine, it doesn’t work. We use chloroquine as prophylaxis, but you can’t use it as a drug when the person is already sick. It can also cause more problems.
“Who goes to the hospital when you have no symptoms? Even when you have early symptoms of headache, you just say it is a common cold. When it becomes more severe, and you use chloroquine, it does not work.
“She also mentioned that she used it like a Sunday-Sunday medicine, and it has not also been proven. That is why I am saying, ‘write those things and let us see, then we can know and make up our mind.”