Thailand’s health ministry approved the use of a herbal plant extract to treat early stages of Covid-19 as a pilot program amid a flareup in the coronavirus outbreak in the Southeast Asian nation.
Andrographis Paniculata, commonly known as green chiretta, will serve as an alternative treatment to reduce the severity of the outbreak and cut treatment costs, the ministry said in a statement Wednesday. The treatment will be available in five state-owned hospital initially, it said.
Thailand reported 250 new cases on Wednesday, taking the nation’s total to almost 7,000, and a government official said the rate of increase in local transmissions was alarming and urged people to stay at home to prevent the virus from spreading further. The government has also banned large gatherings in high-risk areas, said Taweesilp Witsanuyotin, a spokesperson for the national Covid-19 response center.
The herbal treatment will be on a voluntary basis for those in the 18-60 age group with minor symptoms and should be within 72 hours of confirming infections.
The extract from the plant, known as Fah Talai Jone in Thai, can curb virus and reduce severity of inflammation, ministry says citing studies. Human trials showed patient conditions improved within three days of the treatment without side effects if the medicine is administered within 72 hours of testing positive. Separately, Thai Food and Drug Administration said it’s ready to register Covid-19 vaccines. FDA has opened special channel for the registration to ensure speedy process