A recent claim by Chinese scientists that a liquid made with honeysuckle plants can help fight coronavirus, has sparked hysteria in the disease-affected country as people started buying the traditional medicine. But doubts quickly emerged as the death toll from the coronavirus continue to rise in the central Chinese province of Hubei, the epicentre of the contagious disease. According to reports, people swamped local pharmacies in search of traditional medicine after influential state media reported that the concoction can prevent the disease from spreading.
Videos shared on Chinese social media platform Weibo showed people lined up outside drug stores in hope of grabbing their hands on the traditional medicine. As per media reports, the medicine quickly sold out online and at the brick-and-mortar stores.
However, scepticism rose when state media published an interview with Zhang Boli, one of the researchers leading the containment efforts, warned people of potential side effects from the medicine. The People's Daily newspaper, a government mouthpiece also warned against taking traditional medicine without proper guidance. The history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) dates back 2,400 years and remains popular in modern-day China.
The world is battling the outbreak of the deadly contagious coronavirus that has claimed more than 360 lives so far in China alone. According to the international press, the confirmed reported cases have reached up to 17,000 as of February 2. The disease is believed to have originated in a market in Hubei's Wuhan city, where animals were being traded illegally.
Chinese authorities have imposed a strict quarantine in 12 cities across the country, 11 of which are in the Hubei province. As per the US CDC, confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in 27 other countries that include some developed countries like, Australia, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Russia, Singapore, and Italy.