The ministry referred to the warnings issued by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, which says that it “has recorded reports of severe vomiting, severe diarrhea, and life-threatening low blood pressure due to dehydration and acute liver failure after ingesting these candidiasis.”
The Ministry of Health confirmed that it would “prosecute those who produce and sell chlorine dioxide.”
According to local media reports, the country’s legislature approved the bill, already passed by the Bolivian Senate, that allows “the production, marketing and supply of a chlorine dioxide solution to prevent corona and as a treatment for patients.”
Chlorine dioxide, a type of industrial bleaching material commonly used as a disinfectant or for bleaching paper products, has been praised by a movement of alternative medicine advocates as a cure capable of almost any disease.
But in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba, where the provincial government has approved its use, some customers said they believed the substance could help.
“I heard in the news that they were selling chlorine dioxide in the pharmacy … and I went to buy it for prevention,” said Eric Okanha, outside a pharmacy. Others confirmed that they were confused about the advice they received.
For his part, Dr. Rene Sahonero, an advisor to the Ministry of Health, explained that the ministry strongly warned against the use of chlorine dioxide in treating Corona.
“We have already put in place a decision stating that this substance has not been approved, that it is not suitable for human consumption and can have serious consequences,” Sahonero said, adding that cases of chlorine dioxide poisoning have been reported.
Despite the ministry’s warning, the country’s Senate passed a bill last week approving the use of chlorine dioxide to prevent and treat coronavirus.