The Indian Bar Association has taken legal action against the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan for her alleged role in spreading disinformation on the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19.
The association served a legal notice (pdf) on Swaminathan on May 25, claiming that she was “spreading disinformation and misguiding the people of India, in order to fulfill her agenda” and sought to prevent her from “causing further damage.”
They further stated that Swaminathan, in her statements against the use of ivermectin, ignored research and clinical trials from two organizations—the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care (FLCCC) Alliance and the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development (BIRD)—who have presented solid data showing ivermectin prevents and treats COVID-19.
“Dr. Soumya Swaminathan has ignored these studies/reports and has deliberately suppressed the data regarding effectiveness of the drug Ivermectin, with an intent to dissuade the people of India from using Ivermectin,” the plaintiff said in a statement (pdf).
In a May 10 Twitter post that was deleted after Swaminathan received the notice, she wrote, “Safety and efficacy are important when using any drug for a new indication. WHO recommends against the use of ivermectin for COVID-19 except within clinical trials.”
Swaminathan made the post soon after Goa’s health minister announced that every Goa resident 18 and older would be given ivermectin as prevention regardless of their COVID-19 status, as part of the Indian state’s effort to stop the transmission of the virus. India has been hit hard in the second wave of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic beginning in March 2021.
The legal notice calls for a clear response from Swaminathan on a number of key points, and the association said that in the case of a failure to provide a clear response, it reserves the right to initiate prosecution under sections of the Indian Penal Code and Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The WHO’s chief scientist didn’t reply to a request for comment by press time.
BY MEILING LEE