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'Home remedies don't cure COVID-19'

by Staff reporter
18 Jan 2021 at 06:23hrs | Views
HEALTH experts and stakeholders have warned that home remedies were not a cure for COVID-19, but only relieve symptoms and offer the body a fighting chance against the respiratory virus.

This follows a raging debate which, after widely circulated home remedies for the coronavirus, like steam inhalation and of late traditional snuff (bute), were touted as cures for the virus which has killed just over two million people across the world.

Medical practitioners have also raised concerns over patients that present themselves very late for treatment simply because they would have been using home remedies.
On Saturday, Zimbabwe recorded 17 COVID-19 deaths, 772 new infections for a cumulative total of 26 881.

Yesterday, a local medical doctor angrily took to social media platform Twitter to express her disappointment over a patient she said delayed seeking help and lost his life. He hoped that home remedies would cure him.

"I lost a patient who presented themselves late to the hospital because he was trying home remedies. While it is good to try all these remedies, people should visit the hospital if symptoms are getting worse," she tweeted.

The chief co-ordinator for the COVID-19 taskforce, Agnes Mahomva, said: "There are known home remedies that have always been used to manage flu-like symptoms and these are mostly safe, but people need to understand that there is no cure yet for COVID-19. Research is still being carried out on some of the remedies, and so it is wise for the populace to only use what has been proven to be safe."

Mahomva said it was imperative for people to observe the laid-down preventive measures so that the virus did not spread.

"People are still not wearing their masks and they continue to attend gatherings. It is now a question of taking a personal decision to do the right thing and protect families and others as well."

Mpilo acting chief executive officer Solwayo Ngwenya said there was need for caution.

"There is no cure for the virus. So people can use any home remedies that they normally use for flu illnesses. But they must not use group steaming or inappropriate means when they are sick — of which they must seek medical advice," Ngwenya said.

Last week, Vice-President and Health minister Constantino Chiwenga said it was possible that traditional medicines could be used to treat COVID-19.

"Some modern medicines are actually derived from traditional herbs. Yes, it is possible that some traditional medicines can be used to treat COVID-19. However, there is need for scientific researches to be done to ascertain their efficacy," he said.

Chiwenga said the ministry had operationalised the traditional medicines department, which was preoccupied with research in that area.

Meanwhile, in Eswatini people have been discouraged from using steam inhalation with herbs or flu chemicals as a way to manage COVID-19.

Authorities in the country claimed that such methods were responsible for the super spread of the virus.

"The custom of kufukira (steam inhalation) is strongly discouraged as research provides that it is among the super spreaders of the virus," the Eswatini government said in a statement.

Recently the African National Congress youth league in Tshwane, South Africa, came under fire for encouraging people to consume alkaline foods and practice steam inhalation to "paralyse" the virus.

Source - newsday