CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian on Monday advised citizens against steam inhalation, saying it was not part of the guidelines for treatment of COVID-19.
The minister’s caution comes a day after steam inhalation photos and videos went viral on social media.
Coimbatore South’s BJP MLA Vanathi Srinivasan had inaugurated a steam inhalation vehicle in her constituency and faced criticism from netizens. The Railway police too had installed about a dozen portable inhalation steamers at the Chennai Central Railway Station, receiving a similar feedback.
According to a statement from the health department, the Health Minister cautioned people against the use of steam inhalation on seeing videos from social media.
“Videos of steam inhalation are being spread on social media. The steam may go through their mouth and also affect their lungs. Apart from this, when they open their mouth to inhale steam, chances of them spreading the virus to others also is high,” the Minister cautioned.
He said that the state government’s COVID-19 treatment protocol was formed based on the WHO guidelines and the steam inhalation technique cannot be considered as a treatment as per the guidelines.
“Since COVID-19 is a virus that affects the lungs, people must not do steam inhalation by themselves without consulting a doctor,” the Health Minister said.
He said that the Siddha treatment methods at the Covid Care Centres are being done under the supervision of a team of doctors and the Tamil Nadu government.