The news media reports that Xinhua News Agency announced that a traditional Chinese oral liquid medicine, called Shuanghuanglian (SHL), can help fight against the coronavirus that is apparently raging through China.
In China it is widely believed that SHL is a natural treatment for acute upper respiratory tract infections, which is one of the symptoms that the coronavirus allegedly causes.
Western news outlets are writing that Shuanghuanglian is a placebo, merely based on pseudoscience. They also claim that many people have allergic reactions to the liquid medicine.
China’s Global Times in response published an article clarifying the situation.
Coronavirus rumors trigger irrational behaviors among Chinese netizens
A report by the Xinhua News Agency on Friday night claimed Chinese patent medicine, Shuanghuanglian oral liquid, containing three herbal ingredients, is effective in containing the novel coronavirus infection, citing the latest joint research between Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wuhan Institute of Virology. The news was also reported by People’s Daily soon after. It emerged as the most searched topic on Chinese Twitter-like Weibo. People rushed to purchase the medicine online and offline, resulting in it to go off the shelves in quick succession.
However, the People’s Daily published a contrasting report Saturday morning, urging people not to rush to purchase Shuanghuanglian oral liquid, as there is no specific anti-viral treatment recommended against coronavirus infection so far. Besides, research for treatment measures is still ongoing but it is yet to pass clinical trials. It also cautioned the public against consuming drugs without proper physician guidance.
Officially, the Chinese government is not endorsing the use of Shuanghuanglian to cure 2019-nCoV virus infections.
Now I am interested in how the monostream media is going to spin this – if at all. The following screenshot was made today, before the expected Shuanghuanglian hype and disinformation campaigns. Clearly, Shuanghuanglian is not a big thing online in infotainment land. Lets see if that changes, and how.