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Herbal medicine, drinks can't cure COVID-19: Ministry

Dyaning Pangestika
Dyaning Pangestika

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, August 6, 2020  /  05:30 pm
Herbal medicine, drinks can't cure COVID-19: Ministry

The Health Ministry has reaffirmed that herbal medicine and 'jamu' (traditional herbal drink) cannot be used to cure COVID-19 symptoms. (shutterstock.com/Wisnu Haryo Yudhanto/File)

The Health Ministry has reaffirmed that herbal medicine and jamu (traditional herbal drink) cannot be used to cure COVID-19 symptoms.

Akhmad Saikhu, the head of the ministry’s herbal and traditional medicine research and development division, said herbal medicine or drinks only worked to relieve comorbidity symptoms in a patient, rather than curing the coronavirus disease.

A comorbidity is a medical condition that co-occurs with another, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Jamu can only be used to relieve symptoms of comorbid diseases,” said Akhmad in a statement on Wednesday.

Read also: What you need to know about Indonesia's vaccine development

He added several misconceptions had been passed among the public that jamu could be used to cure the coronavirus disease. However, COVID-19 could only be cured with an antiviral drug, Akhmad went on to say.

COVID-19 antiviral drugs and vaccines are still being tested. State-owned pharmaceutical company PT Bio Farma is working with Padjadjaran University in West Java to launch Phase III clinical trials in humans of a vaccine produced by Sinovac Biotech of China in the near future.

A study from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine researchers found that around 1.7 billion people in the world are at risk of becoming severely infected with COVID-19 due to a comorbidity or underlying health problems, such as obesity and heart disease.

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