Pofma may be used against those who spread Covid-19 falsehoods: Ong Ye Kung

SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Health (MOH) is looking into using the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) on those who spread falsehoods about Covid-19 treatment.

This includes those who say that anti-parasitic drug ivermectin is a safe and effective treatment for the disease, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Wednesday (Oct 20) during a press conference by the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 here.

“We are certainly looking into it,” Mr Ong said. “And just to be clear, in MOH, the medical professionals are very clear that ivermectin is not suitable for the treatment of Covid-19.”

The dosages of ivermectin used in laboratory settings to kill the virus are too high for humans to safely use, he added.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority stopped the illegal import of 23,100 ivermectin tablets between Sept 10 and Oct 6.

Ivermectin came under scrutiny earlier this month, when a 65-year-old retiree fell violently ill and was hospitalised after taking it.

MOH said in a Facebook post on Oct 15 that ivermectin is a prescription-only medicine registered only for the treatment of parasitic worm infections.

It is not an anti-viral medication and is not approved by the Health Sciences Authority for the prevention or treatment of Covid-19.

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