KABUL (Pajhwok): A number of Facebook users and people have encouraged using opium tears for treatment of Covid-19 but health experts rejected its efficiency when it comes to Covid-19 treatment and advise people to follow health guidelines.
Opium is produced from tears of poppy bods, dried latex in brown color.
People used opium tears not affected by Covid-19: Social media users
Parwanak, a Facebook user has published a short video clip in which a person says that opium tears can prevent infection with Covid-19.
“I want to tell you about the benefits of opium, those who are above 50 years of age can use two or three grams of opium on daily basis for protection against Covid-19, because the smoke of opium bars the virus from damaging lung walls. I confidently say it that those who use opium would not be infected with virus,” he said.
A number of twitter users also recently published topics about the benefits of opium in curing Covid-19.
Mahdi, an Iranian man, in a tweet said that his neighbor who is in Afghan told him that Afghans used opium tears for treatment of the virus.
“The Afghan says that a traditional pharmacist has developed medicine for treatment of the virus in (Afghanistan) and many people who used it, their health improved,” he said.
Abu Hassan, another twitter user, said, “It is true, not a lie, Afghans do not infect with Covid-19 or they recover faster.”
Baran, another Twitter user said, “Some people recommend using opium tears for the treatment of Covid-19.”
Opium tears empower body, prevent Covid-19 infection: Kabul people
Rohullah, a resident of Khair Khana area of capital Kabul told Pajhwok Afghan News that whenever they feel pain in their body or in chest or got coughing, they used opium tears. “It is very effective,” he said.
“When Covid-19 first emerged, our family decided to use opium tears, that was the reason no one of our family member was infected with the virus, because the resistance of our body was strong,” he said.
Nasir Ahmad, another resident of Kabul, said that besides herbal medicines, people also used opium tears during the Covid-19 pandemic for the treatment of the virus.
People still use the drug for treatment of different pains, he said.
Faiz Mohammad, a unani pharmacist in Kabul, said that opium tears was easing pain and that was the reason many people during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic was consuming it in Kabul.
He said that he personally did not sell the drug but its sale was unexpectedly increased during the pandemic.
Despite significant development in the medical area, traditional herbal medicine among elder people is still common.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) earlier said that the traditional drug created by Hakim Alokozai for treatment of Covid-19 was involved narcotics (morphine and opium).
Opium tears cure Covid-19 scientifically unproven: Experts
Health experts say that there were no scientific evidences to prove that opium tears can treat Covid-19.
Internal medicine specialist in Rabia-i-Balkhi Hospital in Kabul, Associate Professor Dr. Nabil Paktin, confirmed opium usage in painkillers, but said that there was no need for use of opium when standard medicines were present for easing pain.
“Using opium tears creates more trouble than ease, it only eases pain but cannot treat any diseases,” he said.
Dr. Baz Mohammad Shirzad, another doctor, said that using opium tears for treatment of Covid-19 was scientifically not proven and continual usage of the drug could weaken the body’s immune system against diseases.
He said that people with weak immune system could be easily infected by Covid-19 narcotics, particularly opium had pain easing, anti-fever and short-term joy specifications but it could not be termed as a fundamental medicine.
MoPH said that efficiency of opium in treatment of Covid-19 has not been proved in the world.
Dr. Mirwais Alizai, MoPH deputy spokesman, said that treatment of coronavirus was clear and had specific diet but no any health organizations in the world so far recommended usage of opium tears for the treatment of the virus.
He said that studies about the treatment of the virus were underway in the world, but only vaccine has so far created for the cure of the disease. However, he did not provide details about the benefit or harms of opium.
Alizai asked people to follow health guidelines for prevention Covid-19 infection.
On the other hand, an Islamic scholar, Shams Rahman Frotan, said that Islam discourage usage of a drug that can weaken a person or cause intoxication.
“If health professionals have not proved the efficiency of opium, we cannot use it, if they even believe it is good but a Halal alternative is present, we should use the Halal one,” he said.
“Our prophet (PBUH) said that God did not order seeking cure in harmful and forbidden things,” he said.
Frotan said that it has not been proven by any health professional or health commissions that opium could treat Covid-19, and rumors being published in social media were not reliable.
This comes as Covid-19 cases once again increased in the country. According to MoPH, 128 million people are infected with the virus globally as over 91 million recovered and over 2.8 million died.
Outcome: According to health experts, the use of opium tears to treat coronavirus has no academic and scientific bases and spreading such rumors are misleading.
Verdict: The use of opium tears to treat coronavirus is not scientifically proven.