Provincial gov’t memo: Make time for ‘tuob’
CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — Don’t be surprised if you see some employees of the Cebu provincial capitol hunched over their desks, their heads covered with a towel, blanket or a large piece of cloth.
They are probably inhaling steam from a small basin or bowl filled with boiled water infused with lemon, ginger or eucalyptus in a traditional healing method locally called “tuob.” Officials said this would help contain the new coronavirus pandemic.
In a memorandum, the provincial government last week “enjoined” employees and department heads to perform tuob twice a day at their work stations — between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., and between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Provincial Administrator Noli Vincent Valencia issued the memorandum as the number of COVID-19 cases in the provincial capital of Cebu City continued to rise.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has turned to traditional medicine to keep her employees healthy and endorsed tuob as a health regimen to boost one’s immune system to combat COVID-19, a severe respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
For mild symptoms
Tuob’s healing steam would make a person sweat profusely for five to 10 minutes.
Garcia said practicing tuob could be a remedy for asymptomatic patients or those with mild COVID-19 symptoms so they won’t have to go to hospitals in Cebu, which are all filled beyond capacity.
The governor also recommended other home remedies to combat COVID-19, such as drinking eight to 12 glasses of water a day, warm turmeric-ginger tea mix twice daily, freshly squeezed calamansi juice twice daily and taking vitamins.
She encouraged getting eight hours of sleep, observing healthy and balanced diet, and staying under the sun for half an hour between 6 a.m. and
9 a.m., and between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The Provincial Health Office will be providing “tuob kits” and instructions on how to perform steam inhalation properly and safely, according to the June 18 memorandum.
“Furthermore, employees shall take turns so as not to hamper the operations of the office,” it said.
Dr. Dale Pasco, a hydrotherapy advocate, said tuob would promote the multiplication of white blood cells which would result in alleviating a patient’s condition.
Practicing tuob blocks the virus from progressing further into the body early on—when it is still in the nasal cavity, he said.
‘Four to five days to fight’
“When the virus enters the nose or mouth, we still have four to five days to fight it. This is where steam inhalation plays a very important role in this phase. Let us not wait for it to reach the lungs,” Pasco said.
The World Health Organization has explained that exposure to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25 degrees Celsius does not prevent COVID-19.
But Pasco believes a claim of the US Department of Homeland Security that the virus would “die” at a temperature of 27 degrees Celsius and humidity of over 40 percent.
“Many will disagree, but I stand by the findings of the Department of Homeland Security,” he said.
The whole of Cebu had 6,096 COVID-19 cases as of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, with the overwhelming majority of them, 4,479, recorded in Cebu City. Mandaue City reported 627 and Lapu-Lapu City had 303 cases. INQ
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