China approved the sale of three traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) products for the treatment of coronavirus (Covid-19), according to a CNN report. The country's National Medical Products Administration announced that a special approval procedure was used for the products which "provide more options for Covid-19 treatment."
In a statement, the agency said that the products originate from ancient Chinese prescriptions and come in granular form. They were first developed by the TCM remedies and later subjected to screening by many academics and experts on the front line.
The three products are -- lung-clearing and detoxing granules, dampness-resolving and detoxing granules, and lung-diffusing and detoxing granules.
This approval comes even as the safety of TCMs is still debated in China. While critics believe these medicines are based on unsubstantiated theories, they have been in use for many decades.
President Xi Jinping, a TCM advocate, sees these ancient remedies as a source of national pride and has on occasions encouraged doctors to resort to them for treatment of the Covid-19 infection, according to CNN.
Tens of thousands of Covid-19 patients received herbal remedies alongside mainstream antiviral drugs last year, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The CNN report quoted the TCM administration as saying that in January this year, up to 60,000 doses of the medicines were sent to front-line police officers to protect them from the infection and provinces implemented 'TCM prevention plans' to prescribe the medicines to Covid patients.
China has 89,952 Covid-19 patients, and the country's death toll is at 4,636, according to Worldometer, a real-time statistics provider website.