President Donald Trump wrongly suggested at a press briefing on Thursday that disinfectant might be able to clean the insides of people infected with the coronavirus.
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  • A major manufacturer of cleaning products is urging people not to consume disinfectant after President Donald Trump incorrectly suggested that doing so might help cure coronavirus infections.
  • Trump told a press briefing on Thursday that because disinfectant killed the virus on external surfaces, perhaps it could be injected into the bodies of patients infected with COVID-19 as a treatment.
  • Medical experts condemned his comments as dangerous and irresponsible.
  • RB, which manufactures disinfectants in Europe, issued a statement warning its customers not to inject or otherwise consume its products under any circumstances.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Leading manufacturers of cleaning products have issued statements warning their customers not to attempt to inject themselves with disinfectants after President Donald Trump incorrectly claimed that doing so might cure COVID-19.

Trump suggested at a White House coronavirus briefing on Thursday that because disinfectant can kill the virus on external surfaces, perhaps it could be used internally to treat coronavirus patients.

"I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute," he said. "One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?" he said. "So it'd be interesting to check that."

He added: "I'm not a doctor. But I'm, like, a person that has a good you-know-what."

The president also suggested that ultraviolet light, used internally, might help treat COVID-19.

Following his comments, RB, which manufacturers disinfectants for the European market, issued a statement urging the public never to attempt to consume its products.

"Due to recent speculation and social media activity RB (the makers of Lysol and Dettol) has been asked whether internal administration of disinfectants may be appropriate for investigation or use as a treatment for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)," a company representative said.

The person added: "As a global leader in health and hygiene products we must be clear that under no circumstances should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route)."

Another company, Domestos, which makes bleach-based products in Europe, also tweeted a warning to their customers not to ingest their products.

Medical experts also lined up to condemn Trump's comments.

"This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible and it's dangerous," the pulmonologist Dr. Vin Gupta told NBC News.

He added: "It's a common method that people utilize when they want to kill themselves."

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a series of dangerous false remedies spreading online.

Some have promoted a bogus coronavirus cure involving bleach in online forums and on the app Telegram, Insider reported on Thursday.

Hundreds of Iranians have also reportedly died after rumors falsely suggested that consuming methanol could cure COVID-19.

The UK government also distanced itself from Trump's comments about patients injecting themselves with disinfectant.

Asked by Business Insider on Friday whether the comments were irresponsible, a representative for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We can only speak for the UK's response, and in relation to disinfectant I'm certainly not aware that it's anything being recommended." 

The UK's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries told a press briefing on Friday that "nobody should be injecting anything."

She added: "We should be using evidence-based and properly-trialled treatments that we know will be safe."

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