Duvar English

A member of the Health Ministry’s Science Commission has criticized a professor for claiming to have found a cure for the coronavirus (COVID-19), saying that the so-called treatment is not proven to be effective.

“These types of announcements made in excitement cause people to have the feelings of trust and hope that are unnecessary and have no basis. I’m personally concerned about the emergence of disappointment and despair in the following process,” Prof. Alpay Azap from the commission said on April 17 of Prof. Ercüment Ovalı’s announcement.

“These need to be evaluated very carefully. There are plenty of studies, but we don’t have a medicine scientifically proven to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19,” Azap added.

A day earlier, Ovalı, who is the leader of one of the groups working on finding a vaccine to cure the disease, said that the Dornaz Alfa medicine can be used to cure coronavirus, stirring debate on social media.

“We were going to reveal the name of the drug that we’ve been working on in the laboratory for the past one month on April 23, but it seems to be so effective that it can save people’s lives. We didn’t want to steal days from the people’s lives. Dornaz Alfa needs to be taken in clinical tests regarding the treatment of coronavirus patients,” Ovalı said in a tweet on April 16.

“I thank my heroes,” he added.

Azap, however, said that the drug is not being used in Turkey at the moment, adding that it’s being used on small groups in other countries for clinical purposes.

“We are experiencing highly extraordinary days. The disease is spreading rapidly and everyone is trying harder than the best they can. We encounter statements that fall outside of scientific flow charts,” he said.

When asked whether the medicine can be put to use, Azap said, “It would be appropriate to say that there is the possibility of it being put to use for treatment.”

“This is also the case for plenty of other drugs. In order for a drug to be applicable in a treatment, it needs to be compared and controlled studies are needed. Only then you can say that it has a contribution. It needs to be tried on patients,” Azap said.