China issues fresh Covid warning on medicines to treat Omicron variant

The warning comes as tough restrictions continue across the country in an attempt to slow a surge in cases

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Scientists in China are urging its citizens against using herbal medicines to treat the Omicron variant.

The warning comes after millions of boxes of a traditional medicine, called Lianhua Qingwen, were sent to residents across Shanghai as Covid-19 infections continue to surge.

But, while Lianhua Qingwen is recommended to help treat mild infections in China’s official handbook, scientists are urging against it to help cure Omicron.

A post published on medical information website, Dingxiang Yisheng said: “Regrettably, Lianhua Qingwen cannot prevent Covid infection.

Covid-19 cases continue to surge across China
Covid-19 cases continue to surge across China
Lianhua Qingwen is recommended to help treat mild Covid-19 infections
Lianhua Qingwen is recommended to help treat mild Covid-19 infections

“It’s truly unnecessary to distribute Lianhua Qingwen to healthy residents.”

Neurologist Rao Yi added that people must check before any medicine is distributed to prevent a logistical nightmare.

Ms Yi said: “In areas hit by the coronavirus, logistics are tight. At some times, in certain areas, food and medicine needed by the people cannot arrive in their hands.

“Under such circumstances, it must be strictly checked before any medicine said to prevent or treat the Covid infection is forcibly distributed.

“We cannot allow substandard and fake products to be forced upon the public, under any excuse, including traditional Chinese medicine.”

The warning comes as authorities in Shanghai extended its tough restrictions, leaving shops and restaurants reeling.

Authorities warned Shanghai's 25 million residents on Friday that the current situation would go on until the COVID-19 virus was eradicated neighbourhood by neighbourhood.

The city reported 15,698 new local asymptomatic coronavirus cases, down from 15,861 a day earlier. New symptomatic cases stood at 1,931, down from 2,634.