Hong Kong, Dec 25 (IANS) As people in China suffering from Covid ask for ibuprofen and paracetamol, the government is pushing for a traditional medicine known as Lianhua Qingwen to contain the surge of Covid-19 infections, the media reported on Sunday.
According to South China Morning Post, people and experts are divided over its effectiveness as a treatment and regulators in some countries have warned against its use or even banned it, like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“Why give us expensive Lianhua Qingwen? What we need is drugs that can lower the temperature, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol,” wrote one user on social media website Weibo.
According to the report, some provinces are distributing tens of thousands of boxes with Lianhua Qingwen to residents.
The medicine was officially recommended as a treatment by the government in the early stages of the pandemic
“Why can Lianhua Qingwen be transported and distributed freely, while the usual fever drugs are not available or distributed?” asked another Weibo user.
The Yunnan government has said there was an acute shortage of ibuprofen and paracetamol and the government was working to have them produced at “in full capacity”.
Lianhua Qingwen became a household name after it was included in a national Covid-19 guidelines in April 2020 as a recommended treatment for fever, coughs and fatigue in mild-to-moderate cases.
Earlier this year, it was included in the anti-epidemic kits distributed to every household in Hong Kong as the city battled its own surge in cases, said the report.
However, Liu Qingquan, president of Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said in a media briefing that, under the theory of the “same treatment for different diseases”, many more options can be used for Covid-19.
“The choice of drugs is actually very broad, and all of these drugs can treat infection with the Omicron variant,” Liu was quoted as saying.
Chinese officials estimate about 250 million people (18 per cent of the population) were infected with Covid-19 in the first 20 days of December, as Beijing abruptly dismantled restrictions that had contained the disease for almost three years.
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