A man protests with a sign reading 'Trump's Lies Cost Lives' during a demonstration in Washington on Thursday. Reuters
"This is one of the most dangerous and idiotic suggestions made so far in how one might actually treat COVID-19," said Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at Britain's University of East Anglia. He said infecting disinfectants would be likely to kill anyone who tried it.
"It is hugely irresponsible because, sadly, there are people around the world who might believe this sort of nonsense and try it out for themselves," he said.
Trump said at his daily media briefing on Thursday that scientists should explore whether inserting light or disinfectant into the bodies of people infected with the new coronavirus might help them clear the disease.
"Is there a way we can do something like that by injection, inside, or almost a cleaning?," he said. "It would be interesting to check that."
While ultraviolet (UV) light is known to kill viruses contained in droplets in the air, doctors say there is no way it could be introduced into the human body to target cells infected with COVID-19.
"Neither sitting in the sun, nor heating will kill a virus replicating in an individual patient's internal organs," said Penny Ward, a professor in pharmaceutical medicine at Kings College London and chair of the Education and Standards Committee of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine.
"Drinking bleach kills. Injecting bleach kills faster. Don’t do either!," she added.
Reckitt Benckiser, which manufacturers household disinfectants Dettol and Lysol, issued a statement also warning people not to ingest or inject its products.
Parastou Donyai, director of pharmacy practice and a professor of social and cognitive pharmacy at the University of Reading, said Trump's comments were shocking and unscientific.
A woman drives a vehicle bearing signs reading 'Trump Lies People Die' prior to a 'peoples motorcade protest' in Washington. Reuters
Donyai said people worried about the new coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it causes should seek help from a qualified doctor or pharmacist, and "not take unfounded and off-the-cuff comments as actual advice."
Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and a former US labour secretary, added on Twitter: "Trump's briefings are actively endangering the public's health. Please don't drink disinfectant."
Reading's Donyai said previous comments by Trump had already been linked to people self-administering medicines or other products in ways that make them poisonous.
"We have already seen people mistakenly poisoning themselves by taking chloroquine when their hopes were raised by unscientific comments," she said.
The UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told a video briefing most experts agree that the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t reached the poorest parts of the world, but may peak in the next three to six months.
The health ministry said 4,313 people who tested positive for the virus in hospital had died as of 1600 GMT Friday while there were 41,903 confirmed cases as of 0800 GMT Saturday, up 3,735.
"We face a global public enemy like no other," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a virtual briefing on Friday, asking for international organisations, world leaders and the private sector to join the effort. "A world free of COVID-19 requires the most massive public health effort in history."
Shortages of critical equipment led to fierce competition among buyers from Europe, the US and elsewhere. A regional leader in Paris described the scramble to find masks a “worldwide treasure hunt.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned that New York could run out of ventilators in six days.
Fire officials say about 15 people were on the deck of a beach house on the 20500 block of Pacific Coast Highway on Saturday when it gave way, dropping them onto the large rocks below.
"As vaccine supply continues to improve and vaccination capacity gets enhanced in all federating units, we continue to expand the categories of those who are eligible to get vaccinated," Umar said on Twitter.
Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates have also congratulated Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed, on the advent of Eid Al Fitr.