Dr Phuka warns Coronavirus patients against consuming herbs


Chairperson of the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus Dr John Phuka has warned patients against consuming herbal concoctions, saying herbs may cause organ failure which leads to death.

In a statement on Wednesday, Phuka said large consumption of herbal concoctions that contain a mix of chemicals like alkaloids stress important organs like the liver and the kidneys as well as increasing demand of sugar or disrupting sugar control.

“These stresses on your systems are dangerous as organ failure resulting from these stresses may cause death,” he said.

He added that patients should also avoid self-medication or moving from one pharmacy to the other searching for unapproved drugs.

According to Phuka, unregulated drug consumption may also lead to liver and or kidney failure that may have same consequences as the herbs.

Phuka advised patients to have normal balanced diet when infected by COVID-19.

“Keep your diet simple enough to meet you daily needs and meet increased demand of energy due to the disease as well as maintaining good rehydration by drinking water. This allows the body to focus on fight and clearing the virus form your body with minimal disruption,” he said.

He also noted that there is general late seeking behavior among people whereby patients are arriving in treatment units while in severe state or pronounced dead on arrival.

Phuka said patients need to report early for good treatment outcomes.

He said: “For those that have severe form of the disease, please do not treat yourselves at home. Care for COVID-19 severe cases requires specialized high attention approaches that are almost unattainable in home settings.”

People can call 54747 (Airtel) or 929 (TNM) whenever they are experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms such as fever, cough, flu, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell and tiredness.

On Wednesday, Malawi recorded 992 Coronavirus, the highest number of new cases since the pandemic started. Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 14,851 cases including 353 deaths and 6,206 recoveries.