Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian on May 17, Monday, warned people against using steam inhalation as a preventive measure against COVID-19. Subramanian’s appeal comes just a day after BJP’s Vanathi Srinivasan inaugurated a steam inhalation unit and a mobile steam inhalation vehicle in Coimbatore. The railway police had also set up a similar mass steam inhalation unit at Chennai Central railway station on the same day.
Subramanian’s message comes right on time and is in line with what medical experts have already pointed out. In his press statement, Ma Subramanian said that self-medication can be dangerous and raised concerns regarding steam inhalation being used as a preventive measure against COVID-19. “There are chances of this hot, pressurised air causing damage to their lungs. Moreover, when they inhale with their mouths open the chances of this virus spreading to the next person are very high. One cannot consider this to be a medically approved treatment method,” he said. He further added that people who test positive for COVID-19 should immediately contact a doctor instead of following home remedies.
Subramanian further pointed out that the novel coronavirus virus affects the lungs and therefore people should not resort to steam inhalation without consulting their doctor first.
On May 16, Minister for School Education Anbil Mahesh inaugurated and inspected a 200-bedded Siddha centre in Trichy that comes equipped with steam inhalation units.
Subramaniam, in his release, also added that the treatment method being done at Tamil Nadu’s (state inaugurated) Siddha COVID Care Centres have been arrived at after consultation with doctors. “Therefore, people, without doctor’s advice, should not blindly follow the messages that are being shared on Facebook and other social media sites and take up steam inhalation on their own,” he wrote in the release.
On Sunday, soon after Coimbatore MLA Vanathi Srinivasan shared videos on social media of frontline workers using the steam inhalation unit, many including health experts pointed out the dangers behind it.