The World Health Organisation (WHO) has cautioned countries against endorsing and using products purporting to cure Covid-19 that have not been subjected to clinical trials.
“We would caution countries against adopting products that have not undergone rigorous clinical trials to ensure their safety and effectiveness against Covid-19 and also its safety in different population sub-groups, against Covid-19,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, director for the WHO Africa region.
“[A]nything that is being used should be done under conditions of clinical trial where evidence can be collected and it can be assured it is not risky to people’s health.”
Last month, Malagasy president Andry Rajoelina launched what he purported to be a Covid-19 remedy at a news conference. During the briefing, Rajoelina drank from a bottle filled with an amber liquid, which he said had already cured two people of the virus.
In Malawi, local company Teras Health Care has claimed that its herbal juice is able to cure the infection. According to a report on news site Malawi 24, Teras has claimed two people have been cured of the virus after drinking the concoction.
The company’s marketing and communications director, Ronald Amos, told journalists in Lilongwe that Teras had confidence its juice was “completely healing” patients who had tested positive for the virus.
Amos said that a 65-year-old nurse in the United Kingdom and her son, who both tested positive for the virus and displayed serious symptoms, tested negative after they each drank two bottles of Teras juice.
It took mere hours for the woman and her son to recover after drinking the mixture, said Amos.
He said the company was willing to work with the Malawian government to help fight the pandemic.
“We are asking the Malawi government to give us an opportunity to work with the ministry of health in fighting this pandemic, and we are pledging that if they give us a chance to work with them, we will give free Teras herbal juice to all coronavirus patients in the country. And from there, government should assess how many will test negative.
“We have confidence in our product. Our product is working on coronavirus just as it has worked on several diseases. So it’s our plea that the government should give us a chance and we mean what we are saying,” he said.
Malawi has recorded 57 Covid-19 cases and three deaths since the virus was first detected in the country. Twenty-four people have recovered from the infection to date. The nation has an extremely low testing rate, with statistics tracking site Worldometers reflecting only 1,188 Covid-19 tests since the start of the outbreak.