As of April 17, 2021, 1,130 patients are being treated for coronavirus in hospitals across Kyrgyzstan, with 287 of those being in serious condition and 779 in moderately serious condition. This may be why the small nation's health ministry has been pushing a controversial cure for the virus that has health experts alarmed.
According to AFP, Kyrgyzstan Health Minister Alimkadyr Beishenaliyev told a press conference on Friday that the country's leader already tried the solution that contains extracts of aconite root himself when he was in jail. He even claims to have given it to other jailed prisoners with positive results.
"There is no harm to health," the Health Minister said. "You need to drink it hot, and in two or three days the positive PCR test result disappears and the person immediately becomes better."
Beishenaliyev did state that "spasms and death" could occur in anyone drinking the solution cold or ingesting cold drinks after taking the root.
"(Even) if you drink it hot and then have cold water or ice cream, you can die," he said, adding that kettles had been procured for hospitals around the country in order to boil the solution properly.
According to PubMed, the root is life-threateningly toxic despite having been used in traditional medicine.
"Aconitine and related alkaloids found in the Aconitum species are highly toxic cardiotoxins and neurotoxins. The wild plant (especially the roots and root tubers) is extremely toxic. Severe aconite poisoning can occur after accidental ingestion of the wild plant or consumption of an herbal decoction made from aconite roots," PubMed states.
"Some people and companies are trying to profit from this pandemic by selling unproven and illegally marketed products that make false claims, such as being effective against the coronavirus," the FDA wrote in a statement on their website.
Still, this isn't the first instance of leaders coming up with such claims. Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov attributed his rather isolated country's wellbeing in regards to COVID-19 to licorice root too. Currently, Turkmenistan isn't sharing its data on COVID-19 with WHO.
"These fraudulent products that claim to cure, treat, or prevent COVID-19 haven’t been evaluated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness and might be dangerous to you and your family," they conclude.