Public told to beware of baseless Covid-19 cure-alls


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah, which consistently recorded four-figure cases in Malaysia’s third wave of Covid-19 infections, seems to be also a hotspot for baseless homemade cures and remedies.

Not only do Covid-19 patients have to deal with treating and battling the virus, they are often bombarded with such misinformation as well.

Quite a number of people in Sabah are claiming that they have the simplest methods to fight the disease, ranging from a concoction of water with sliced lemon and garlic cloves to drinking montoku (local distilled rice wine) to kill the virus.

A former Covid-19 patient, who recalled how a relative shared with him an “important” tip, described it as “nothing but nonsense”.

“The tip is to take a young coconut, mix its juice with lime and a spoon of salt before drinking this and seeing the result in an hour. It was supposed to cure me of the virus in just one hour, ” said the man, who declined to be named.

He said although the “tip” sounded like nonsense, it was shared quite widely in his other WhatsApp groups.

“Imagine the whole world struggling to find a cure for Covid-19 and all we need is just this simple method, ” he said with a laugh.

Another patient, who had also recently recovered from the virus, said among the many “genius” ideas she has heard of, one stood out quite remarkably in her mind.

“My aunt kept telling me to try montoku. She told me that someone she knows apparently got well enough to be discharged from the hospital a few days after drinking montoku. How crazy is that?” she said.

She said the aunt even kept telling her to try and get someone to send her some montoku while she was being warded in the hospital for the virus.

She said while she understood her aunt’s concern, she stopped entertaining the relative after a few days after it got too annoying.

“I only started to talk to her again after I was discharged from the hospital, ” said the woman.

Other weird remedies are to mix a raw egg with F&N Orange and drink it once before bedtime and again at dawn before taking a bath.

A viral post on Facebook had a man claiming that he cured himself of Covid-19 by drinking the concoction besides imbibing warm water mixed with lime juice thrice daily, taking two Panadols in the morning, afternoon and night, rubbing eucalyptus oil on his chest and sniffing it all the time for a few days.

A doctor at the Women and Children’s Hospital in Likas near here said while he had never encountered such queries from his patients, he advised those with such ideas to first get more evidence for their theories.

“For those who wish to believe these remedies, you should first get more local scientific research done from universities and specialists for proof, ” he said.

He said everyone could take supplement and food that would boost their immune system.

“But it is not advisable to blindly believe what they read in social media platforms, ” he said, adding even then, supplement and immune boosting food should be taken in small and appropriate doses.

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