Indonesian authorities, who are fighting a surge in COVID-19 cases with the Delta variant, have another task cut out for them in the form of misleading claims about the COVID-19 virus and its unproven cures. As the number of cases rise, hospitals are overwhelmed, running out of beds and facing oxygen shortages.
Here are some of the claims that are going viral in Indonesia.
Anti-parasite drug Ivermectin approved for COVID-19
The use of Ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug, increased with the outbreak of the COVID-19 in Indonesia. Local media reports suggested that the Indonesian authorities granted it emergency approval, locals started buying them, in growing numbers.
However, the drug is still undergoing trials, BBC reported. And is so far an unproven COVID cure.
These reports were based on the July 15 statement that was issued by the Food and Drugs Authority of Indonesia (BPOM).
However, BPOM's head, Penny Lukito, in a statement said that no emergency approval has been granted to Ivermectin. As per reports, the confusion was caused because it was put on a list together with other drugs which were granted emergency approval.
Dr Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist at Australia's Griffith University, said that the anti-parasite drug should not be used unsupervised as there could be "very serious side effects if it is not used under a doctor's supervision".
In the meantime, there were quite a few countries investigating it as a possible treatment.
A certain milk brand has the ability to produce antibodies
After there were wide claims that Indonesia's Nestle's Bear Brand milk has the ability to produce antibodies, the sales increased as more and more people started drinking it.
The message had gone viral on social media and different WhatsApp groups. The price of the milk shot up by 455%, BBC reported.
However, it is yet to be ascertained as to from where did the claim originate. Currently, there is no evidence that drinking milk can produce COVID antibodies.
In a statement to BBC, Indonesia Nestle said that they have never made such claims.
Indonesian social media is covered with a product called propolis. Claims are being made that it is an immunity booster and protects one against COVID-19.
BBC reported that propolis is a natural substance produced by bees. It is often sold as an alternative remedy for inflammation or sores. It is being sold in Indonesia by the country's food and drugs regulator since 2018.
"British propolis", in its Instagram account, has claimed that it can help against viruses but not specifically COVID-19.