KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — A study conducted by a group of experts from Malaysia in collaboration with pharmaceutical company Mundipharma recently, found the efficacy of povidone iodine (PVP-I) mouthwash products in curbing Covid-19 spread.

Apart from its effectiveness in destroying SARS-COV-2 virus (Covid-19 source) up to 99.99 per cent, the study also found that the virus could be eliminated within 15 to 30 seconds due to the PVP-I content.

One of the experts involved in the study, Assoc Prof Dr Nurul Azmawati Mohamed from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia Medical Faculty, when contacted by Bernama said, earlier, various articles published in international journals which touched on the efficacy of PVP-I and hydrogen peroxide had recommended that health professionals use the gargle before seeing patients.

“Patients too should rinse their mouth before treatment (especially in dental clinics) and the Health Ministry (MOH) too had started providing PVP-I or hydrogen peroxide to patients in need of dental treatment.

“The use of mouthwash products with PVP-I, such as Betadine Gargle and Mouth Wash is more for prevention because the SARS-COV-2 virus enters through the mouth and nose. Gargling the antiseptic fluid will kill the virus found in the throat area. As such the spread of the virus can be reduced because we are aware that the virus is spread through respiratory fluid from the throat and nose,” she said.

Meanwhile Dr Nurul Azmawati said, oral hygiene routine with the use of PVP-I mouthwash should not be limited to health personnel only as the public could also practice it as a precautionary measure.

Based on the research findings, she hopes to collaborate with MOH by testing the products on Covid-19 patients.

Another expert involved in the research Dr Pouya Hassandarvish said products containing PVP-I are available in both liquid and spray form.

According to Hassandarvish, so far the World Health Organisation and other governments have been advising society to use alcohol-based solution like hand sanitisers, which were effective.

“But as you know Covid-19 infects through the mouth and nose, the gargle and mouthwash can be a good solution if you use them to disinfect your mouth as our findings show this product can kill the virus within 15 seconds,” he said in a Skype interview with Bernama TV earlier today.

When asked how far away the world is from a vaccine for Covid-19, he said right now scientists and researchers have been working hard to come out with a vaccine to end the pandemic.

“To develop a vaccine, it will take time, because anytime you find something, you have to go through the trial period, and it takes time whether you will receive positive result or no result. If there is no result, you have to try it again from the beginning,” said the Iranian post-doctoral fellow researcher at University Malaya’s Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre. — Bernama