With India crossing 18 lakh cases in seven months, fake drugs to fight the coronavirus abound in the market, their advertisements cover all spaces of social media platforms leading health experts to caution public against claims of these immunity-boosting products.
There is a surge in the number of fake drugs both on retail and online outlets, said Nikhil Modi, Senior Consultant, Respiratory, Critical care & Sleep Disorder, Institutes of Critical Care, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi on Tuesday.
These days people are hearing all the time about Covid-19 through media and social media, and all this amid the new normal and still ongoing partial lockdown is causing panic. With online being the new work space it is being targetted to reach the audience.
“Taking advantage of this panic, many therapies and immune-boosting medicines are now being peddled in the market and that too rampantly without understanding its efficacy or learning about its side effects,” he told IANS.
The doctor stressed that it is important for the public to understand that at present, there is no medicine available. Scientists do not have a cure or vaccine to prevent the virus. So if anybody is making any such claims its totally baseless.
“Also, people are reading stuff about home remedies like drinking Kadha, hot water and others as a treatment for the coronavirus, which is absolutely untrue,” he added.
“These home remedies are effective for other viral illness for only symptomatic relief measures and thus, cannot protect us from Covid-19,” Modi Informed.
Just days back yoga guru Ramdev launched ‘Coronil’ claiming that it can cure coronavirus. However, the Ayush Ministry immediately put an end to it, permitting Patanjali only to sell Coronil as long as it was advertised as an immunity booster, and not a ‘coronavirus cure’.
According to Dr Vijay Dutta, Consultant, Internal Medicine for Respiratory Disease at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in New Delhi, fake drugs that claim to help you prevent coronavirus infection can be harmful for overall health.
“At present, there is no remedy to coronavirus that may prevent infection other than using masks in public, maintaining hand hygiene and social distancing. Do not fall for any product that claims to prevent or cure the infection, including fake sanitizers or masks,” Dutta told IANS.
“In the recent past, fake sanitizers have been reported to cause skin infections. Also, keep an eye on credible news outlets to learn about the scientific development around vaccine — any significant development will be discussed in detail,” he said.
Do not buy drugs or treatments available on social media as fake products are now rampant on social media platforms.
Consult with your doctor before using any such products, the expert suggested.
Speaking to IANS, Dr (Col.) Ranga Rao, Chairman, Paras Cancer Centre, Paras Hospitals in Gurugram, said that “all must follow the guidelines given by the World Health Organization (WHO) and must safeguard themselves from viruses like Covid-19”.
Recently, health experts also warned against cheap personal protection equipment (PPE) suits or hazmat suits that have found their way into Indian markets.