WHO Website Clarification
Since the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19, WHO has provided advice to the public on how to recognize, prevent and manage the disease, and to address their concerns. The WHO website reproduces this content in the 6 official UN languages. This same content is taken up by regional and country offices who address their audiences in local languages.
The guidance - in forms such as social media posts across platforms and Questions and Answers on the web—is updated regularly as the science evolves, and as the public raises further concerns or questions.
In a Question and Answer page on the web, one question listed “dos and don’ts” for the public to consider. Under the “don’ts,” a line was previously included that said people should not use traditional medicines.
On 4 March at an editorial meeting of the news and risk communications teams in Geneva, a decision was made to remove that line as it was too broad and did not take into account the fact that many people turn to traditional medicines to alleviate some of the milder symptoms of COVID-19. The line was removed from the Chinese version of the page on 6 March, the English version on 7 March, and the other UN languages on 8 March. The update to web content does not happen in synch as it takes time for the teams to work on each page.
The Questions and Answers about traditional medicine have just been updated today (see above screenshots).
The Q&A will continue to be updated.