Note: This is an essay accessible only to paid subscribers of #BeritaBaruNakUp, but is temporarily available for free members during the trial period.
First used in the 1980s, ivermectin is a medication to treat parasitic infections in both humans and animals – ranging from scabies in the former to heartworm in the latter.
However since late 2020, more and more people are promoting the use of ivermectin to treat Covid-19 as the public grows more desperate with rising number of cases and deaths – joining other drugs such as hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, and lopinavir.
This push has mainly been driven by a video of American pulmonary and critical care specialist Dr Pierre Kory, who described it as a "wonder drug" in a hearing before the United States Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Dr Kory has since formed a pro-ivermectin lobby there called the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), and inevitably this sentiment has now reached Malaysian shores.
While the local lobby has for quite some time spread its tendrils in social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp text messages, the story recently blew up following a police report against the Ministry of Health (MoH) and its director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah for refusing the use of ivermectin in treating Covid-19.
The report has since been dismissed by the police who did not find any offence has been committed, forwarding the matter to MoH itself.
We try to untangle the web of both medical professionals and conspiracy theorists on social media who make up Malaysia's pro-ivermectin lobby, and why dislodging this call may not be so easy.
We will discuss this more after the jump, for subscribers only. 👇