TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology deputy head, Herawati Sudoyo, on Sunday fears that the claimed ‘antivirus necklace’ promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture may badly misinform people as the eucalyptus-based necklace does not function as a virus-killer.
“The claims that it is an antivirus should not have been said as it would create a misconstrued perception that the herbal plant is able to kill viruses,” said Herawati to Tempo on Sunday, July 5.
According to Herawati, one active compound contained in eucalyptol only acts as a barrier that blocks viral replication. The in silico experiment that was released in March was modeling research and has not been tested further.
Moreover, her disbelief towards the Ministry’s claimed product continues as there are no tests that definitively prove that the eucalyptus contained inside the necklace is able to prevent viral replication. Herawati also asserts that Eijkman is not involved in the making of the necklace.
Previously, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that it had developed a necklace that is able to kill the influenza virus up to coronaviruses which based on eucalyptus. The ministry boldly claimed that this antivirus necklace has been patented by the ministry’s research and development board.
Head of the ministry’s research and development, Fadjry Djufry, on Saturday said that the Indonesian government continues to search for a way or drug that can effectively kill the COVID-19 coronavirus. He claims that the eucalyptol can potentially bind MPro protein which inhibits viral replication.
“That is thanks to the 1.8 cineol from the eucalyptus or eucalyptol can interact with receptor potential ion channel transient located in the respiratory system,” said Djufry who also claims it is able to fight H5N1 avian influenza, gammacoronavirus, and betacoronavirus.
He also claims that based on tests, the eucalyptus sp. is able to kill 80-100 percent of viruses that range from avian influenza and coronavirus. He elaborates that the invention was found after invitro tests at the BSL3-certified Balingbatan Laboratory.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA | KODRAT SETIAWAN