“Tuob” or steam inhalation is not a cure for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Department of Health (DOH) stressed on Thursday following controversial statements made by Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire cited the World Health Organization, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and local medical societies in stressing that steam inhalation’s effects against COVID-19 are still unproven.
“Wala pong scientific evidence na nagpapatunay na ang steam inhalation ay nakakapatay ng virus na nagiging sanhi ng sakit na COVID-19,” she said in a briefing.
“Sa halip, ito po ay maaari pang makasama at magdulot ng aksidente gaya ng pagkapaso o pagkasunog ng balat,” she added.
The DOH also said that steam inhalation may lead to the further spread of the virus through aerosolization.
Garcia recently came under fire on social media for publicly berating two doctors who opposed her advocacy for steam inhalation against COVID-19.
The governor earlier released a memorandum encouraging employees to practice tuob.
The provincial government has since said in a statement that Garcia does not take issue against people who do not believe in steam inhalation but is only against the supposedly “unethical behaviors” of the two doctors who “mocked” her online.
The statement also said that Garcia claimed that steam inhalation as a cure for the virus, but that "it is her duty to tell the millions of Cebuanos in the province that there is an alternative that could help boost their immune system, along with other home remedies." — BM, GMA News