Hot right now: COVID-19 stories most read on our social media

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

COVID-19 related developments were the most-read stories on our social media. ©Getty Images
COVID-19 related developments were the most-read stories on our social media. ©Getty Images

Related tags COVID-19 Philippines India China Vitamin c

Industry and scientific developments related to COVID-19 were our top-most read stories on the social media over the past month. Some of them include Filippino scientists’ research on antiviral properties of virgin coconut oil and the surge in vitamin C sales.
Coconut and COVID-19: Philippines studying antiviral properties of coconut oil as potential treatment

The Philippines is looking to study virgin coconut oil​ (VCO) as a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) which has since infected more than 80,000 people and killed more than 2,800 worldwide.

There is currently no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. Now researchers in The Philippines are testing VCO, according to Dr Jaime Montoya, executive director of the Philippine Council on Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST).

The PCHRD-DOST had announced on February 7 that it would test a “functional food” in infected patients with COVID-19 which Dr. Montoya confirmed in late February was coconut oil.

Vitamin C and COVID-19: Philippines health authorities to supply supplements to school children

The Philippines health department in the Central Visayas region is buying vitamin C supplements​ for school children in a bid to boost their immunity in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country’s Department of Health in Central Visayas which consists of major islands, such as Cebu, made the announcement in mid-March. 

Department director, Dr Jaime Bernadas, said PHP$500k (US$9,831) would be allocated from the agency to buy the vitamin C.

COVID-19: Opportunities for health supplement firms to communicate immune-boosting role of micronutrients

A panel of science researchers has put up a list of key findings​ on the role of micronutrients in supporting the immune system, which firms can tap on to educate the consumers in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Hosted by Dr. Manfred Eggersdorfer, professor for Healthy Ageing at the University Medical Center Groningen, the panel of five reviewed scientific evidence on the role of micronutrients in supporting the immune system, especially against viral infections.

The findings have been submitted for publication in a scientific journal.

COVID-19: China retailers and suppliers report surge in demand for Vitamin C supplements

Chinese e-commerce giant, JD has reported that sales of vitamin C dietary supplements on its platform were up five-fold​, after the announcement of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Sales of health products including vitamin C effervescent tablets, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) brand Banlangen, and Xiao Chaihu (herbal formula) saw big increases.

These supplements are used to help prevent fever, cold, and other respiratory symptoms. JD said the virus outbreak was the cause of the surge consumption, and its higher online sales was attributed to consumers preferring to order delivery online instead of going to supermarket to purchase products.

Ayurvedic protection? India’s AYUSH ministry draws flak for advocating alternative medicine against coronavirus

India’s Ministry of AYUSH has attracted criticism from medical experts for suggesting alternative medicines, such as Ayurveda, homoeopathy, and unani practices, could act as immunity booster against the deadly novel coronavirus.

The country’s press information bureau (PIB) issued the advisory​ last Wednesday, specifying the types and the methods for preparing the traditional products.

One of its Facebook posts claimed that the coronavirus infections ‘can be prevented’​ with ‘solutions’​ from Ayurveda, homoeopathy, and unani which has its origins in ancient Greek medicine.

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