Saturday 30 May, 2020

No home remedy to cure COVID-19, says Barbados Snr Medical Officer

Barbadians are being reminded that there is no cure for the novel coronavirus also known as COVID-19.

Senior medical officer, Dr Arthur Phillips, was speaking during the national broadcast televised tonight (March 15), where he debunked the myths that home remedies such as consuming garlic or plenty of water would cure the viral illness.

“I’m sure there is nothing wrong with drinking a little garlic water. I’m sure it is a good thing, but there is no evidence it will cure or reduce the symptoms of coronavirus.

"We have seen some things around water, that if you drink lots of water you will just flush it out. There is no evidence this is true,” Phillips stressed.

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The senior medical officer also urged citizens to abide by the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations to practice good hygiene.

“There is no harm in drinking water. Water is a good thing but the important measures continue to be the things we want to promote: the hand washing, the respiratory hygiene and the social distancing."

He said the coronavirus disease 2019 continues to be a major concern for health officials in Barbados mainly because of the island’s ageing population and the high prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). He gave the assurance that the Government was committed to safeguarding its citizens and was exploring the use of infomercials to disseminate information on COVID-19 to dispel rumours and myths. 

“This is a bad flu so it is significant. It is important because it is new which means we do not have immunity to it, so there is a potential for a lot of individuals to become ill. Because of the fact we have an ageing population and we have a significant part of our population living with NCDs there is an increased risk of severe illness,” he explained.

“What gives us a level of comfort is we have seen other countries be able to control this and manage it, so I think there is reason for concern and precaution and the ministry and government's approach has been to prepare for the worst. This is not an Ebola or SARS and we will get through this."

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