Covid19: Lesufi Apologises for Promoting Unapproved Chinese Traditional Medicine

Covid19: Lesufi Apologises for Promoting Unapproved Chinese Traditional Medicine

  • Gauteng Education MEC Panyanza Lesufi has come out with an apology for his role in spreading misinformation
  • Lesufi was captured on video saying traditional Chinese medicine was useful in treating Covid-19 symptoms
  • Lesufi says he is working with South Africa Health Products Regulatory Authority to try to curb the spread of the misinformation

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Gauteng Education MEC Panyanza Lesufi expressed regret about a viral video in which he endorsed the use of traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for the coronavirus.

The video that has been shared on numerous social media platforms shows Lesufi promoting traditional medicine capsules as he offered them to his family to relieve Covid-19 symptoms, according to News24.

Covid19: Gauteng education MEC Panyanza Lesufi, Apologises, Chinese Traditional Medicine
Gauteng Education MEC Panyanza Lesufi issued a statement apologising for his role in promoting traditional Chinese medicine for Covid-19 treatment. Image: ER Lombard/Gallo Images
Source: Getty Images

Lesufi issued a statement saying after consultation with the South Africa Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) he realised that he had taken part in an unauthorised medical process, according to SowetanLIVE.

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He went on to say that he retracted all the comments he made and stated that the video in question was shared without his permission. He further stated that he trusted a pharmacist who had given him the information that the traditional Chinese medicine was approved.

I trusted my pharmacist in this instance who invited me to participate in taking part in the product study and who claimed that, the product was submitted for approval,” he said.

Lesufi apologised profusely and said that he was working with Sahpra to remedy the misinformation caused by the video.

"I have since asked the pharmacist, who knows the approval processes, to also co-operate with Sahpra and avail all relevant information to the regulatory body,” he said.

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The study was prompted by the World Health Organization to recommend the use of the medications, known as IL-6 inhibitors, in addition to corticosteroids in Covid-19 patients under severe or critical conditions, according to NDTV.

After prior trials yielded conflicting results, Manu Shankar-Hari, a professor at King's College London and the paper's lead author, said the research offered a "definitive piece of evidence" in favour of the medications, according to EWN.

The study found that when one of the medicines was given in addition to corticosteroids, the risk of death was lowered by 17% compared to corticosteroids alone. The risk of advancing to mechanical ventilation was lowered by 21% among patients who were not on ventilators.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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