Hyderabad: Scientists across the world are racing to find a treatment for the deadly coronavirus, but Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy thinks the disease is already curable and told the public there is no need to panic.
The CM made this astounding assertion while addressing a press conference on Wednesday, and went on to compare Covid-19, which has killed over 40,000 people across the world, to ordinary fever.
“Coronavirus is a curable disease. If we take medicines continuously for 14 days, it will be cured. So, there is no need to panic,” the chief minister claimed.
The claim that coronavirus is curable if medicines are taken for 14 days, is incorrect as there is no treatment for the disease and scientists are still screening from thousands of drugs to discover one that can be repurposed to treat coronavirus within the next six to 12 months.
A vaccine for it, on the other hand, could take a minimum 18 months, but experts say even that timeline is optimistic.
Continuing with the misleading claim, Reddy said “some presidents of different countries (were) also affected by this virus. They have been cured of this virus, like a fever patient.”
While patients do recover from the disease and around 80 per cent only exhibit mild symptoms, around 5 per cent of all cases are classified as critical and need intensive care treatment.
The CM added that the impact of the worse is “a bit powerful” on those who are already suffering from other diseases, implying that for the rest the disease will be mild and will go away.
This last statement is also only partially true. While the disease can cause varying degrees of illness and even death, the World Health Organization says adults aged 65 and older, and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions such as heart and lung disease or diabetes, might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
However, reports from Italy, France and the US have shown that young people, too, are at risk of serious illness. People under 50 make a substantial portion of those hospitalised from the disease in these countries and the WHO had also warned that young people are not invincible.
Andhra Pradesh has so far reported 87 coronavirus cases, while the India count corssed the 1600 mark on Wednesday.