Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is promoting a “miracle” medication that he said neutralises Covid-19 with no side effects – a claim doctors said was not backed by science.
Maduro on Sunday presented the drug Carvativir, an oral solution he said was tested on patients in a Caracas hospital and a sports center used as an emergency medical facility.
“It has gone through a period of nine months of study, experimentation, clinical application. On the sick, on the very sick, on people who have been intubated, and we recovered them,” he said, during a televised broadcast on Sunday.
He described the liquid as “miracle drops of Jose Gregorio Hernandez,” a 19th century Venezuelan doctor who was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church last year, without elaborating on the active ingredients.
But there is next to no evidence to back up the claims. Doctors said Carvativir is derived from thyme, a herb that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine but whose effect on Covid has not been established.
“The treatment claim for Carvativir’s brand for Covid-19 is unsubstantiated by any clinical data, but as a Maduro press-release, it may hit the social media waves for another high of sublingual bread & circus,” tweeted Dr. Francisco Marty, an infectious diseases expert at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.