This facility was opened despite many experts saying that there is no scientific proof that steam inhalation helps in preventing COVID-19 infection.

Vanathi Srinivasan at a steam inhalation facility in Coimbatore
Coronavirus Coronavirus Sunday, May 16, 2021 - 17:05

Coimbatore MLA and National President of the BJP Mahila Morcha, Vanathi Srinivasan on Sunday, May 16 shared that a steam inhalation station and mobile steam inhalation vehicle have been set up in Coimbatore. “Steam Inhalation Station and Mobile Steam Inhalation Vehicle inaugurated in Coimbatore today. Frontline workers of Coimbatore Corporation were the first beneficiaries today,” she tweeted, sharing a video of frontline workers taking in steam.

While some welcomed the facility, many on social media pointed out that the effectiveness of steam inhalation as a preventive measure has been questioned.

The railway police at Chennai Central Railway station too installed a steam inhalation unit on Sunday, with a row of steam inhalers placed at the station. Medical experts on social media pointed out the danger behind this, especially in a public space where the virus could spread.

Medical experts have said that there is no scientific proof that steam inhalation helps in preventing COVID-19 infection. Earlier in May, a mass steam inhalation facility was inaugurated outside a police station at Barke in Karnataka’s Mangaluru. At that point, the police said that the steam inhalation facility was set up after consultation with ayurvedic doctors, yoga and naturopathy professionals, as a measure to avoid COVID-19 infection.

Dr K Lakshman who is a consulting surgeon in a reputed hospital in Bengaluru told The News Minute that such a setup, that facilitated mass gathering, was more harmful than beneficial. "Any mass gatherings such as this, without masks, can allow the virus to spread. It is a danger to the population. It is best if it can be avoided. In this pandemic situation, science has taken a backseat. For anything that is scientific, there has to be some evidence and this steam inhalation has no evidence of being useful,” he said.

Dr Lakshman further added, “In an aware society, you cannot ask a question such as why you shouldn't do something. Instead, you have to ask what is the use of doing something. If there is a benefit you should do it, if not, you shouldn't. The issue with doing steam inhalation includes things ranging from the waste of water and energy to scalding of skin and nasal tissue. And there are situations where patients who actually have to seek medical help get distracted and don’t.”

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