Governor claims Balinese arak steam therapy can speed up recovery for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients

Bali Governor Wayan Koster. Photo: Bali Provincial Government
Bali Governor Wayan Koster. Photo: Bali Provincial Government

Indonesia has certainly seen its fair share of dubious claims for COVID-19-related cures since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, with the latest being touted by Bali’s own governor Wayan Koster.

The governor claims that a traditional healing method that uses Balinese liquor, or arak, can speed up recovery for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients. 

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“We have a new traditional healing method that’s being used on positive patients. The infected [asymptomatic] patients who are quarantined are being treated with a traditional healing method using Balinese arak,” Koster said during a press conference in Denpasar yesterday. 

“It’s very effective to speed up [the patients’] recovery. Two days of being confirmed positive and then [the patient] receives this treatment, on the third day they [tested] negative.”

According to reports, 19 asymptomatic patients have so far been given the treatment, and 15 of them are said to have recovered from COVID-19. Koster said that it takes about three days for asymptomatic patients to recover since the first treatment. 

The governor reportedly assigned a number of researchers to the task, and the treatment involves using the concoction ⁠— which contains Balinese arak, lest you forget ⁠— being steamed for inhalation using a vaporizer-type device.

Koster is optimistic that asymptomatic patients in the province, numbering around 400 in total, will recover much more quickly with the treatment. 

Bali reported additional 78 COVID-19 cases yesterday afternoon, bringing the provincial total to 2,934. The latest tally includes 2,178 recoveries and 46 deaths.

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