Chittoor: Unauthenticated ayurvedic preparations and other traditional medicines viral on social media are creating serious health problems for people. On 7 April, 14 people, including women, fell ill after consuming the juice of datura stramonium (ummetha kaya in Telugu) in Kothuru village under Baireddypalle mandal.

According to sources, some people suffering from fever and cold feared they had been infected by the Corona virus. They watched a YouTube video and prepared datura juice which is poisonous. The 14 people were first admitted to Baireddypalle primary health centre and were later shifted to the Palamaner Area Hospital. The police have registered a case and an investigation is underway.

Also, there are rumours on social media that country arrack (prepared illegally in villages) is also an antidote for the virus. Some people have started selling illegal arrack at high prices. This is rampant in Karvetinagaram. Huge stocks of arrack were also transported to villages in Tirupati for sale. Excise officials have dismissed the misconception and seized the stocks.

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