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Fighting Covid-19, alcohol not a substitute for hand sanitizer - Centre for Plant Medicine Research 

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Local gin (Akpeteshie)
Local gin (Akpeteshie)

The Centre for Plant Medicine Research says claims that alcohol can be used in place of hand sanitizers in the Covid-19 fight is untrue.

After cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the country, some have suggested that Herbal bitters or local gin can be used in place of hand sanitizers.

There are viral videos of people resorting to alcoholic drinks as a precautionary measure against the virus.

Centre for Plant Medicine Research in response to this assertion said, “For a sanitizer to be effective in ridding the hands of coronavirus, sanitizers must have 60-95% alcohol by volume, and that alcohol content for bitters on the market is often less than 45%.”  

"CPMR wishes to make it known that no herbal bitters or local gin could be a viable substitute for hand rubbing," the statement added.

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Full statement below :

ALCOHOLIC BITTERS NOT TREATMENT FOR COVID-19

Mampong – Akuapem: Following the outbreak of COVID-19 /Coronavirus in Ghana in recent days and the collective efforts of the government and people of Ghana in dealing with this disease, the Centre for Plant Medicine Research (CPMR) is concerned about social media postings alleging that alcoholic bitters could be a substitute for hand sanitizers in seeking to prevent the coronavirus infections.

CPMR wishes to make it known that no herbal bitters or local gin could be a viable substitute for hand rubbing. This is due to the fact that:

For a sanitizer to be effective in ridding the hands of coronavirus, sanitizers must have 60-95% alcohol by volume, and
That alcohol content for bitters on the market is often less than 45%.
Thus, clearly, such bitters and their alcohol contents are inadequate as a sterilizing measure against COVID-19.

CPMR also wishes to place on record that no known medicinal plant, or herbal product or local gin has, at yet, been proven to be efficacious against COVID-19. As a research centre of excellence, however, we are engaging with our various partners and stakeholders including the Ministry of Health and Traditional Medicine Practitioners to explore research opportunities in the fight against COVID-19 using herbal medicine.

CPMR hereby advises the public to be mindful of false information and also adhere to the Ghana Health Service guidelines regarding COVID-19.

These guidelines include:

Frequent cleaning of hands with soap under running water or the use of alcohol-based sanitizers.
Covering cough with a bend of the elbow or tissue paper.
Maintaining a distance of at least one meter from people coughing or sneezing
Regular physical activities
Regular intake of water and
Lastly, ensuring personal hygiene.

Signed

Baffour Osei Akoto

(Head, Public Relations)