Goh Meng Seng's claim that Government is lying about TCM treatment for Covid-19 is baseless: MOH

People's Power Party chief Goh Meng Seng speaking at an event in January 2020. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - People's Power Party chief Goh Meng Seng's claims that the Government is lying about having studied a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatment for mild Covid-19 infections are baseless, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Sunday (Nov 21).

Mr Goh had made a Facebook post accompanied by an hour-long video on Thursday, where he said it is "totally untrue" that there are no scientific studies on the suitability of Lianhua Qingwen in treating Covid-19.

He went on to say that MOH had sponsored a study on the treatment, and questioned why the findings have not been published yet.

Responding to Mr Goh's claims in a Facebook post on Sunday, MOH clarified that while it had offered to sponsor a study under a TCM research grant, the researcher had withdrawn her application, citing her inability to secure a suitable study site.

To date, a few randomised control clinical trials on Lianhua Qingwen have been conducted, only in China, said MOH.

The number of patients in these trials was not large enough to offer conclusive scientific evidence that Lianhua Qingwen can be used to prevent or treat Covid-19 in Singapore, the ministry added.

Lianhua Qingwen is a TCM formulation usually sold in capsules and used to treat flu symptoms.

Last week, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) warned the public that Lianhua Qingwen has not been approved to treat Covid-19 here.

It added that claims circulating on social media and in Telegram chat groups about the product being able to protect against Covid-19 are false.

HSA also said all herbal products formulated for common cold and flu, including Chinese proprietary medicine, should be used only to manage symptoms such as headache, runny or blocked nose, sore throat and cough.

MOH added that Mr Goh's assertion that the Government is lying is serious and baseless, and that it reserves the right to take further action if he persists in his "unjustified claim".

The ministry advised the public to consult a doctor for Covid-19 management and avoid speculating or spreading misinformation that may cause public alarm, and refer to credible sources of information instead.

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