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Sunday, January 31, 2021

DG: Test Islamic, alternative 'treatments' for Covid-19 to prove effectiveness


COVID-19 | Any form of Islamic or alternative methods touted as a treatment for Covid-19 must be tested to prove its effectiveness, according to Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said if Islamic treatment techniques or traditional alternatives are to be used, these treatment methods must first be based on solid facts and evidence that can be used in research.

"For example, we use vaccines, the vaccine must go through three stages of clinical trials before we can see its efficacy and side effects. Same thing with drugs.

"So first we must carry out tests, or otherwise how would we be able to see its effectiveness or side effect?" Noor Hisham told reporters after visiting the low-risk Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centre at Pusat Tarbiyah Islamiah Kelantan (Putik), Kota Bharu, today.

He said this when asked for comments on a proposal by Kelantan's local government and health deputy exco Hilmi Abdullah for Covid-19 patients to also be supplied with air ruqyah - plain water fortified with prayers, commonly used in Islamic treatment to ward off evil spirits.

Hilmi and proponents of the method had said the water is not to be consumed as a cure for Covid-19, but rather an additional effort alongside modern medicine, based on teachings of the Quran.

On a separate matter, Noor Hisham said there are enough Covid-19 facilities in Kelantan, although they are in need of additional health equipment and personnel.

"For now we're not going to increase the number of quarantine centres because we can see the hall here (Putik) is not filled, but if there is a need in future, we can open more in other areas.

"We have space, for example, at Sultan Ismail Petra Hospital (Kuala Krai) that has five empty intensive care unit (ICU) beds.

"So we need equipment and trained personnel to be placed there. We are not increasing human resources to be stationed at ICUs and normal wards," he added. - Mkini

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