Traditional Chinese medicine is effective against Covid, but pills in government healthcare packages cannot prevent disease, says Hong Kong chief

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has endorsed the use of traditional Chinese medicine to cure, treat and prevent Covid-19, but said Lianhua Qingwen tablets which will be distributed in government care packages to all Hongkongers are not meant to prevent coronavirus.

Photo: Kristoffer Trolle via Flickr.

“To prevent infection and speed up the recovery of patients, traditional Chinese medicine can have a better effect than Western medicine,” Lam said at Wednesday’s Covid-19 press conference.

“Local traditional Chinese doctors, including at the Hong Kong Baptist University School of Chinese Medicine, have developed an immunity-boosting remedy,” she said, adding that it could “ to cure seriously ill patients”.

The government is set to deliver care packages to Hong Kongers that will include two boxes of traditional Chinese medicine tablets, Lianhua Qingwen, in early April. The tablets are said to be effective in suppressing Covid symptoms such as fever or sore throat.

However, Lam said they were not intended for prevention, adding that vaccination remains the most effective way to prevent a Covid-19 patient from developing severe symptoms.

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“The exclusive Chinese medicine tablets that we send in the anti-epidemic bag to every household in Hong Kong are for treatment. It’s like Panadol or paracetamol, it’s not for prevention,” she said.

Hong Kong has recorded 1,143,788 Covid-19 cases and 7,571 deaths since the start of the pandemic.