Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam has endorsed the use of traditional Chinese medicine for curing, treating and preventing Covid-19, but said the Lianhua Qingwen tablets to be given out in government care packages to all Hongkongers are not for preventing the coronavirus.

Photo: Kristoffer Trolle via Flickr.

“On preventing infection and accelerating patients’ recovery, traditional Chinese medicine may have better effect than Western medicine,” Lam said during Wednesday’s Covid-19 press briefing.

“Local traditional Chinese medical practitioners, including at the School of Chinese Medicine at Baptist University of Hong Kong, have developed an immunity enhancement remedy,” she said, adding that it could “cure critically ill patients.”

The government is set to deliver care packages that will include two boxes of traditional Chinese medicine tablets, Lianhua Qingwen, to Hongkongers in early April. The tablets are said to be effective in suppressing Covid symptoms such as fever or sore throat.

However, Lam said they were not for prevention, adding that vaccination remains the most effective means to prevent a Covid-19 patient from developing serious symptoms.

“The proprietary Chinese medicine tablets that we are sending in the anti-epidemic bag to all the households in Hong Kong are for treatment. It’s just like Panadol or paracetamol, it’s not for prevention,” she said.

Hong Kong has recorded 1,143,788 Covid-19 cases and 7,571 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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