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HomeEnglishAndhra CM YS Jagan Reddy Claims Paracetamol Can Cure Coronavirus. Is it...

Andhra CM YS Jagan Reddy Claims Paracetamol Can Cure Coronavirus. Is it True?

Claim

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Reddy has claimed that ‘Paracetamol’ is the only medication for coronavirus.

YS Jagan: Paracetamol only medication for coronavirus | Amaravati News – Times of India

YS Jaganmohan Reddy AMARAVATI: Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy said that paracetamol is the only medication for coronavirus. Coronavirus outbreak live updates He said that Covid-19 is lethal for those have comorbid conditions including blood pressure, asthma and kidney diseases. “There is no need to get panic about coronavirus.

Verification

As more coronavirus cases are being reported across the globe, the graph of a surge in misinformation is only moving upwards. State health officials, governments, global health, and fact-checking agencies are burning the midnight oil to curb the misinformation as it is the need of the hour but those subject to questioning are the politicians, who are largely responsible for making policies and their implementation. Recently, a right-wing politician in India suggested that cow urine and dung can cure coronavirus, the claim is not just unscientific but fatal as uninformed masses are highly likely to follow his suggestion because of their stern religious beliefs. The next Indian politician to make it to the list is Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Reddy who has claimed that Paracetamol tablet is the only medication for coronavirus. Now, one may arguably discuss the merits and demerits of the said tablet but is it advisable to make such claims when the pandemic has created a panic that is being termed as big a challenge as World War 2

Seeing the sensitivity of the claim and the position and reach of the person who made the aforementioned claim, we began our fact-check. In the first phase, we initially tried to know what are the medicinal benefits and demerits of the Paracetamol tablet. We searched the World Health Organization’s website and learned that as per the listed definition of Paracetamol by WHO, “Paracetamol is a synthetic derivative of p-aminophenol with analgesic and antipyretic activity but no anti-inflammatory action. Its plasma half-life is about 2 hours. It is extensively metabolized in the liver and subsequently excreted in the urine.”

WHO Model Prescribing Information: Drugs Used in Anaesthesia: Non-opioid analgesics: Paracetamol

Paracetamol is a synthetic derivative of p-aminophenol with analgesic and antipyretic activity but no anti-inflammatory action. Its plasma half-life is about 2 hours. It is extensively metabolized in the liver and subsequently excreted in the urine. Clinical information Uses Symptomatic relief of mild to moderate pain.

WHO has published more informative articles on Paracetamol which can be viewed here

Now, we began to check if Paracetamol can cure coronavirus. During our search, we found a report published by Express.co which lists the benefits and demerits of the Paracetamol and if Paracetamol can cure coronavirus.

Coronavirus and paracetamol: Can you take paracetamol for coronavirus?

For those managing their symptoms at home, the NHS advises to “drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol to help with your symptoms.” Paracetamol is used to relieve pain and reduce fever, so can help alleviate some symptoms. Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance suggested on Tuesday people should not take ibuprofen.

An excerpt from the aforementioned report reads, “For those managing their symptoms at home, the NHS advises to “drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol to help with your symptoms.” Paracetamol is used to relieve pain and reduce fever, so can help alleviate some symptoms. Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance suggested on Tuesday people should not take ibuprofen. French health minister Olivier Veran has suggested anti-inflammatory drugs could worsen the infection. Sir Patrick told MPs: “The ibuprofen example – it may or may not be right, I don’t know, but the sensible thing to do would be to say don’t take it at the moment, take something else – paracetamol or something.” As yet there is no cure for coronavirus, only managing the symptoms which arise.”

From the aforementioned report, we learned that while the NHS advocates taking Paracetamol to help with symptoms but the organization has nowhere termed it the only medication to cure coronavirus.

As we searched further, we found a report published by The Guardian that throws more light on the issue and quotes NSW chief health officer to clarify that Paracetamol can not cure coronavirus rather it just helps with the symptoms. 

Paracetamol cannot treat coronavirus, NSW chief health officer says, only its symptoms – video

New South Wales chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant addresses a misconception around paracetamol and the coronavirus crisis. With pharmacies and stores running low on supplies of the painkiller due to hoarding, Chant explained paracetamol only treats symptoms of Covid-19, not the virus itself

As per The Guardian report, “New South Wales chief health officer Dr. Kerry Chant addresses a misconception around paracetamol and the coronavirus crisis. With pharmacies and stores running low on supplies of the painkiller due to hoarding, Chant explained paracetamol only treats symptoms of Covid-19, not the virus itself.”

We also found a video report by The Independent that clarifies the issue in detail by comparing the usage of Ibuprofen and Paracetamol and then negates the claim swiftly that the latter is the only medication that can cure coronavirus.

Should you be taking paracetamol rather than ibuprofen to treat coronavirus?

The UK government is no longer testing individuals for coronavirus and says if you show symptoms (a high temperature and a new and continuous cough) you should stay at home for 7 days and not call 111 or attend a GP or hospital.

 After reading the three aforementioned reports, we reached the conclusion that Paracetamol can help with coronavirus symptoms but it can not entirely cure coronavirus and also, it is not the only medication to do so.

We also contacted Dr. Chandani Pandey, MD, a physician who specializes in Otolaryngology. Dr. Pandey was also of the same view as stated in the reports above. Talking to newschecker.in, she said, “It is true that Paracetamol is advised if someone is having the symptoms of coronavirus or lookalike symptoms as it can help with moderate or mild pain, headache, fever and some other known symptoms of coronavirus. However, it is not a prescribed treatment for coronavirus and to say the least, it is not at all the only medication to help with the symptoms of coronavirus. There are several other medications, however, a vaccine or an approved treatment for the Covid-19 pneumonia is yet to be announced. It is advised to people that they should not panic about the outbreak and follow the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and other global health organizations.”

We also found a report published by The Star that claims to have contacted a WHO official and quotes the same official to clarify that the World Health Organization okays the use of ibuprofen and is of the view that there’s no evidence to warn against using ibuprofen to treat COVID-19 symptoms.

World Health Organization says there’s no evidence to warn against using ibuprofen to treat COVID-19 symptoms

Despite a warning from French Health Minister Olivier Veran that ibuprofen could worsen COVID-19 symptoms, there is currently no strong evidence to advise against taking the medication to treat the illness, according to the World Health Organization. While the WHO initially advised against taking ibuprofen, the organization now says people suffering symptoms could medicate as usual.

Additionally, when we checked the World Health Organization’s Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19), we found that the WHO has found no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. An excerpt from the WHO’s Q&A is as follows, “While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings are available.” 

It is evident from our findings and Dr. Pandey’s testimony that Paracetamol can help with the coronavirus symptoms but it cannot entirely cure coronavirus. We also found that Paracetamol is not the only medication that can help with coronavirus symptoms as there are many medications.

Sources

Expert Opinion

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Result: Partially False/Misleading

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Saurabh Pandey
Saurabh Pandey
A self-taught social media maverick, Saurabh realised the power of social media early on and began following and analysing false narratives and ‘fake news’ even before he entered the field of fact-checking professionally. He is fascinated with the visual medium, technology and politics, and at Newschecker, where he leads social media strategy, he is a jack of all trades. With a burning desire to uncover the truth behind events that capture people's minds and make sense of the facts in the noisy world of social media, he fact checks misinformation in Hindi and English at Newschecker.
Saurabh Pandey
Saurabh Pandey
A self-taught social media maverick, Saurabh realised the power of social media early on and began following and analysing false narratives and ‘fake news’ even before he entered the field of fact-checking professionally. He is fascinated with the visual medium, technology and politics, and at Newschecker, where he leads social media strategy, he is a jack of all trades. With a burning desire to uncover the truth behind events that capture people's minds and make sense of the facts in the noisy world of social media, he fact checks misinformation in Hindi and English at Newschecker.

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