The increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia has evidently not deterred the country’s second-in-command from reportedly joking about the benefits of alternative medicine, amid a global health emergency that the World Health Organization (WHO) has just declared a pandemic.
“As it turns out, there is something here [in West Nusa Tenggara] that could ward off corona[virus] that the governor is offering, it’s wild horse milk,” Vice President Ma’ruf Amin said yesterday, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.
The idea was first sounded by the governor of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Zulkieflimansyah, who said that after seeing people in his province unconcerned about the spread of the coronavirus, he eventually discovered that they believed they had strong immune system because of regular consumption of wild horse milk.
“They said, we have a strong immune system. Even increasing stamina on the daily, because we drink wild horse milk every day,” Zul said, as quoted by Kompas.
The two officials were participating at an event in Mataram, NTB.
“We’ve got to be careful, we also have to ward off the impact of the wild horse milk. Don’t be a wild horse,” Ma’ruf jokingly said.
Indonesia is certainly no stranger to alternative medicines to cure different kinds of sickness, but considering how COVID-19 has infected over 115,000 people and killed more than 4,200 across the globe in just a few months, the official comments come off as a bit misplaced.
The United Nations’ health agency has declared COVID-19 a pandemic, citing concerns over “alarming levels of the coronavirus spread, severity and inactions” and said they expect to see the number of cases, deaths and affected countries to climb even higher in the coming weeks.