Malunggay capsules, supplements no cure for coronavirus: lawmaker

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2020 12:03 PM | Updated as of Jan 31 2020 12:08 PM

MANILA - Congresswoman and former health secretary Janette Garin rejected Friday rumors that certain food supplements can cure the 2019 novel coronavirus. 

In a text message, Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin said there is no known cure for 2019-nCoV as scientists are still working on a vaccine. 

"Please help us spread the message that NO CURE has been discovered. Circulating messages about supplements, malunggay capsules and similar products, being promoted is not proven. Sayang ang gastos sa mga bagay na hindi naman kailangan," she said. 

Instead of food supplements, the former health secretary pushed for correct handwashing practices, cough and sneeze etiquette and early health-seeking behavior. 

"Kung uubo or babahing, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue (and dispose of it properly and immediately) or with your upper sleeve. Do not hold you eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands. Avoid crowded places if you are immunocompromised," she said.

She added: "Iwasan din gumamit ng pagmamay-ari ng iba tulad ng towel, panyo, toothbrush, baso o tumblers at mga kubyiertos. Take care of yourself. Eat well and exercise. The best way to combat this is to have a strong, healthy body."

She also urged the public to be cautious when wearing face masks. 

"Surgical masks [do] not prevent 2019-nCoV. N95 does. As of now, it is presumed to be transmitted via direct contact with respiratory droplets just like all other coronaviruses . What is being studied now is ‘if asymptomatics can indeed spread the virus’ considering the Germany and Japan case," she said. 

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said a 38-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, was confirmed to be infected with the virus following a laboratory test in Australia.

“The DOH is confirming that a 38-year-old female Chinese patient under investigation (PUI) is positive for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) after her lab results arrived today from the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia,” Duque said.

The woman arrived in Manila via Hong Kong on Jan. 21. She is now in an undisclosed government hospital in Metro Manila. With a report by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News