Viral information on Italy finding cure to COVID-19 is false

A viral information circulating on WhatsApp suggests that Italy has found a cure for COVID-19.

The lengthy piece which continues to circulate in various groups in Ghana referenced the Ministry of Health in Italy as the source.

It has since been published here and different posts made about it on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

The message makes other claims such as:

  1. Italy has found out that COVID-19 is a bacterial disease and not a viral disease.
  2. Italy had changed its COVID-19 treatment protocols and is now administering Aspirin and another drug known as Apronax.
  3. More than 14,000 patients recovered in a single day as a result of the change in treatment protocol.

“Italian doctors, disobeyed the world health law WHO, not to do autopsies on the dead of the Coronavirus and they found that it is NOT a VIRUS but a BACTERIA that causes death.  This causes blood clots to form and causes the death of the patient.”

“Already knowing this diagnosis, the Italian Ministry of Health immediately changed the Covid-19 treatment protocols … and began to administer to their positive patients Aspirin 100mg and Apronax …, result: the patients began to recover and present  improvements and the Ministry of Health released and sent home more than 14,000 patients in a single day,” excepts of the post said.

Fact-checkghana.com looked into the claims and concludes that it is completely false.

 

Explanation:

Italy has been battling COVID-19 since Thursday, January 30, 2020. The country as at May 27, 2020 recorded 231,139 cases and 33,072 deaths. 147,101 are reported to have recovered.

It is among the top 10 countries in the world with the most number of COVID-19 cases.

To verify the viral claims we crosschecked from the website of the Italian Health Ministry’s website where it still lists the disease as viral disease and not a bacterial disease.

On the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) page, the Italian Health Ministry mentioned the COVID-19 illness as one caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and not a bacteria as the claim stated.

For an information as major as finding the cure for a global pandemic, it would have been expected that the Italian Health Ministry will clearly highlight that on its website or its Facebook and Twitter  handles but no such thing has been shared on any of those platforms. This again stands in contrast to the claim that the European country has found a cure for COVID-19.

On the claim that Italy has changed its treatment protocol and is now using antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to treat COVID-19 victims, the Health Ministry in Italian states that “Treatment remains primarily based on a symptomatic approach, providing supportive therapies (e.g. oxygen therapy, fluid management) to infected people”

The website also states that “antibiotics are not effective against viruses.” the website further states.

The Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) which provides information on the drugs that are made available for COVID-19 patients does not mention Aspirin 100mg or any supposed drug called ‘Apromax’ as drugs approved for use in treatment of COVID-19 victims.

Concerning the claim of 14,000 recoveries recorded by Italy in a single day since using the supposed new treatment protocols, we found that the highest number of recoveries recorded by Italy in a single day as at May 28, 2020 was on May 6, 2020 when 8,014 we declared recovered.

The day with the second highest number of recoveries was on May 15, 2020 where 4,917 people recovered.

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