Doctors know best

Doctors know best

When it comes to dealing with the coronavirus disease 2019, it’s safest to follow doctors’ advice. And their advice is that there is still no cure for COVID-19 – contrary to the emerging belief that a traditional steaming procedure called tuob can eliminate the symptoms associated with the deadly disease.

The Department of Health and organizations of medical professionals have issued statements warning that steaming through tuob does not kill the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus-2 or SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that causes COVID-19.

Scientists, however, should conduct studies on the efficacy of the steaming practice, which proponents say clears the throat and nasal passages and induces sweating, in easing respiratory problems. Proponents of tuob mostly in the Visayas, including local government officials, attest that the traditional practice helps eliminate coughs and fever – two of the symptoms associated with COVID-19. The proponents have brushed aside concerns about the risk of scalding, stressing that they use common sense and keep their faces away from direct steam rising from boiling water where salt has been dissolved.

The Department of Science and Technology has partnered with private groups and individuals to conduct research and development of traditional treatments that remain popular all over the country. Modest funds have been allocated for this type of R&D, which has resulted in the recognition by the DOST of the medicinal properties of 10 plants that grow in the country. There is ongoing research on the potentials of virgin coconut oil for fighting COVID-19.

In the meantime, however, it is prudent to heed health professionals’ warning that resorting to tuob might lull people into complacency and delay seeking help for COVID cases. It’s a highly infectious and deadly disease for which there is still no cure. In fighting the coronavirus, doctors still know best.