According to a Berita Harian report at the time, Selangor health director Datuk Dr Sha’ari Ngadiman said the product was believed to have been brought in illegally from China.

The use of TCM to treat COVID-19 is a heated subject even among experts.

The subject became even more controversial as the World Health Organization (WHO) has been condemned by the international medical community for spending years endorsing China’s TCM.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, WHO removed a warning on its website about the use of TCM to treat COVID-19. It went on to fuel more controversy, reported BBC.

Although Lian Hua Qing Wen has been approved in Canada since 2012, doctors there warned people to be cautious about the claims of using the medicine to treat COVID-19.

“Selling unauthorized health products or making false or misleading claims to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19 is illegal in Canada,” said Health Canada’s spokesperson in an emailed statement to CBC News last month.

Meanwhile, closer to home, Cambodia’s Health Minister Mam Bunheng said Lian Hua Qing Wen is “effective” in treating COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms, reported Chinese state media Xinhua.

The statement reflects a similar approach in China, whereby non-life-threatening COVID-19 patients were given TCM.

The medicine is also registered in the Philippines and Indonesia. However, it is only licensed as a herbal remedy to relieve cough and fever, not a treatment for COVID-19.




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