Jakarta (ANTARA) – Traditional medicines and herbs cannot be used to cure the novel coronavirus disease, said Akhmad Saikhu, head of the Center for Research and Development of Medicinal Plants and Traditional Medicines at the Health Ministry, on Wednesday.
“COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so the only drugs (that would be effective against it) are antiviral ones, and until now, an anti-virus (for COVID-19) is still in the process of being researched,” he stated during a discussion held by the COVID-19 task force in Jakarta.
Herbs or herbal drink concoctions (jamu) cannot cure COVID-19, a disease which attacks the respiratory system, he stressed.
However, traditional or herbal medicines can help alleviate the symptoms of comorbid conditions, he pointed out.
He said he believed that herbal medicines or herbal drinks can be used to manage co-morbid conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, that can worsen the condition of COVID-19 patients.
“So, the herbal medicine is not (meant) to cure COVID-19, contrary to the misleading information (that has been circulated) in recent days; but, it can be used to alleviate and prevent comorbid diseases from becoming worse,” he explained.
Director of Standardization of Drugs and Narcotics, Psychotropics, Precursors and Addictive Substances at the Food and Drugs Supervisory Agency, Togi Hutadjulu, voiced a similar viewpoint, stating that currently there are no drugs that have proved effective in curing COVID-19.
She urged the public to remain vigilant about drugs, both modern and traditional, amid the pandemic situation, when many parties are claiming to have developed treatments for COVID-19.
She said people must remain on the alert and always check packaging, label, marketing authorization from the Food and Drugs Agency, and the expiration date while purchasing drugs.
“If people are still doubtful whether a product is legitimate and legal or whether its claims are true, they can contact the Agency via telephone, email, or social media platforms,” she added.
Source: Antara News