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Has Tanzania Approved a Herbal Medicine Cure for COVID-19?

Has Tanzania Approved a Herbal Medicine Cure for COVID-19?

Peris Gachahi

A Facebook claim that the Tanzanian government has approved a herbal medicine called Covidol as a COVID-19 cure has gone viral. Photos like the one above accompany the claim.

The same has also been shared on blogs like this one.

Background

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[restrict]Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there have been frantic efforts by researchers around the world over to find a cure/vaccine for the virus, which has now infected over 8 million, and killed over 400,000 people globally (keep up with the ever-changing numbers using our tracking page).[/restrict]

The latest major breakthrough for COVID-19 treatment, as reported by researchers in England has been Dexamethasone, a steroid that has been found to improve COVID-19 survival for critically ill patients.

Closer home, possible herbal cures have been reported in Africa as seen in Madagascar, Kenya and nowand, now, Tanzania.

Verification

A Google image reverse search of the images used in the claim leads to this YouTube video showing one Dr Hamisi Masanja Malebo, a research scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Tanzania, who was promoting the herbal cure. The television broadcast report, however, makes it clear that the drug had neither been tested nor approved by the relevant government authorities.

 

A look through Tanzania’s Ministry of Health for official communication on any found cure reveals this tweet, dated May 3, featuring a statement saying that there is currently no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. The Ministry cautioned the public against the use of untested medicines, especially herbal ones.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), though several trials are ongoing, there is currently no proof that any of the drugs being tested can prevent or cure COVID-19.

Verdict

The claim that Tanzania has approved a herbal medicine called Covidol as a cure for COVID-19 is FALSE.

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