WHO backtracks on herbal remedies against COVID-19

2:38 min

After initially having advised against using traditional herbal remedies to treat the novel coronavirus, the World Health Organization has adopted a new line that is closer to China’s official stance.

Smoking, wearing multiple face masks, taking antibiotics or traditional herbal remedies are not effective against COVID-19 and can be harmful, the WHO said in a statement last month.

However, China’s president Xi Jinping encouraged health workers in China to use traditional therapies in their fight against the novel coronavirus. On March 7th, China’s health authority issued new guidelines to fight the virus. The guidelines state that traditional Chinese medicine should be used and encouraged.

On the same day, the WHO changed the recommendations on its English-language website and the following day on other websites, too.

A WHO press spokesperson confirmed to Swedish Radio’s reporter Hanna Sahlberg that the recommendations were amended after a meeting in Geneva on March 4th in order to reflect that many people use traditional medicine against mild symptoms of COVID-19.

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