Sri Lankan Health Minister who endorsed herbal syrup to prevent Covid-19, has tested positive for the virus.
Pavithra Wanniarachchi, promoted the syrup, manufactured by a shaman who claimed it worked as a life-long inoculation against the virus.
Ms Wanniarachchi tested positive on Friday her media secretary at the Ministry of Health announced.
Ms Wanniarachchi is the fourth minister to test positive. A junior minister, who also took the potion, tested positive earlier this week.
The health minister had publicly consumed and endorsed the syrup as a way of stopping the spread of the virus. The shaman who invented the syrup, which contains honey and nutmeg, said the recipe was given to him in a visionary dream.
Even though doctors in the country have quashed claims the herbal syrup works, thousands of have travelled to a village to obtain it.
Sri Lanka recorded over 56,000 cases and 270 deaths since the pandemic began, with cases surging in recent months.
News of Ms Wanniarachchi’s positive test came hours after Sri Lanka approved the emergency use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The first doses are expected to arrive in the country next week.
Ms Wanniarachchi isn’t the only person in position of power to promote herbal remedies.
Since the pandemic began, a number of world leaders and cabinet members have contracted Covid. French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former President Donald Trump all caught the virus at various points last year.