DOH: No scientific evidence ‘tuob’ can kill virus causing COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — There is no scientific evidence that the practice of “tuob” or steam inhalation can kill SARS-COV-2, the coronavirus that causes serious respiratory ailment COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) clarified Thursday.
In an online press briefing, Vergeire even cautioned that such therapy may also lead to accidents.
“Nais lamang po naming bigyan linaw na wala pong scientific evidence na nagpapatunay na ang steam inhalation or paglanghap ng steam na may asin, lemon at iba pang sangkap ay nakakapatay ng virus na nagiging sanhi ng sakit na COVID-19,” DOH spokesperson and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said
(We would like to clarify that there is no scientific evidence that proves that steam inhalation or inhaling of steam infused with salt, lemon or other ingredients can kill the virus that causes COVID-19.)
DOH’s pronouncement comes after the Cebu provincial government issued a memorandum, where it “enjoined” Capitol employees to make time for tuob even while at their respective work stations two times a day.
“Tuob” is the practice of steam inhalation where one covers his/her head with a towel, blanket or large piece of cloth to inhale steam from a small basin with boiled water infused with lemon, ginger, eucalyptus, or other ingredients.
DOH-7 regional director Dr. Jaime Bernadas has said that while tuob serves as a traditional practice, it cannot cure COVID-19.
Vergeire then cited the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, which both denied that steam inhalation can cure the respiratory disease.
“Ang steam inhalation din po ay nagpaparami ng secretion sa ilong na posibleng makahawa ng sakit sa pamamagitan ng pagbabahing o pag-ubo ng indibidwal,” Vergeire said.
(Steam inhalation can also increase secretion in the nose, which may possibly spread sickness through sneezing and coughing of an individual.)
But for those who still wish to continue practicing tuob, Vergeire gave this advice: “Kung nais niyong ipagpatuloy ang pagsasagawa ng tuob o steam inhalation, mariin namin ipinapaalala na kayo’y mag-ingat, lalo na sa pagkasunog.”
(If you wish to continue practicing tuob or steam inhalation, we are advising you to be careful, especially against getting burned.)
“Kapag manatili o lumala ang inyong sintomas, manatiling matapos sumailalim sa tuob ay dapat kayong kumonsulta sa doktor,” she added.
(If your symptoms persist or worsen, please consult a doctor after doing the tuob.)
Vergeire maintained that washing hands, wearing face masks, physical distancing, and covering the nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing are still deemed as the most effective ways “to mitigate the spread of the virus.”
She also reiterated DOH’s warning against self-medication as well as doing certain treatments or prophylaxis claiming cure for COVID-19 that are not yet scientifically-proven or thoroughly backed by studies.
As of June 25, COVID-19 cases in the country reached 33,069, including 8,910 recoveries and 1,212 deaths.
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