Health minister slams ad campaign promoting MMS covid 'cure'

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Minister of Health Tanel Kiik (Center). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) condemned an advertising campaign on display at bus stops in Viljandi and Pärnu promoting Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS) as a cure for the coronavirus, Postimees reported on Wednesday.

Deputy director general of the Health Board Mari-Anne Harma underscored that MMS is not a medicinal product and the use thereof entails high health risks.

"Quite on the contrary - MMS can aggravate the situation," she said, adding the Health Board and its cooperation partner are in the process of resolving the issue of the misleading advertising campaign.

Kiik said that regardless of having empathy and understanding for skeptics, the campaign in question cannot be met with anything but zero tolerance.

"As to someone wanting to earn a profit by selling people some kind of poisonous liquid, I quite frankly have zero sympathy, zero empathy and zero tolerance towards this," the minister said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Kiik said that representatives of public authorities are currently engaged in resolving said case and preventing any similar campaigns in the future. The minister opined that most people understand that chlorine dioxide does not help cure the coronavirus.

"Common sense tells me that some 99.9 percent of people in Estonia understand that it does not do that," he said. "I very much hope that law enforcement authorities make sure that the people trying to poison others will be held accountable for it."

Kiik noted that the state has also fought against false information and treatment before, and the question is if the information and evidence collected are sufficient for launching proceedings.

"I very much hope they are sufficient in this case," he said.

Estonia moving ahead with vaccination at a good pace

Kiik said at a press conference on Wednesday that Estonia is moving ahead with vaccinations at a rapid pace now.

"We are moving ahead with vaccination at a rapid pace, exactly as deliveries allow," the minister said.

Kiik said that interest in vaccination among residents is high and it is not true that interest in Ida-Viru County is lukewarm.

He said that if all residents continue behaving in a responsible manner, it will be possible to start opening the society.

"Hospitals then won't have to make difficult choices between who can get treatment and who cannot; however, the burden on the health care system still continues, and will continue apparently until the end of the year," Kiik said.

Kalle Killar, deputy secretary general for e-services and innovation at the Ministry of Social Affairs, said that a decision concerning the so-called "green passport" is possible in June.

"Its implementation is a challenge for many EU member states," the official said.

He said that it is Estonia's goal to create a certificate as quickly as possible that is based on data contained in residents' digital health records. 

"We also wish to create a certificate of testing and of going through the illness," Killar said, adding that the aim was to finish this work by the end of April.

"It will possible to get the certificate as a printout, download it into one's smartphone or show in digital health records, but where it will be used, that discussion lies ahead," he said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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