Remember Ningsih Tinampi, the self-proclaimed supernatural healer who went viral last year for victim-blaming a spirit?
Well, the so-called healer, who's based in the Pandaan sub-district of Pasuruan regency, East Java, is involved in yet another controversy recently, after she uploaded a video on her Youtube channel advertising her latest innovation: the anti-coronavirus potion.
"Insya Allah (God willing), this is a Pandaan product. This is to tackle corona[virus]. To all Indonesians, Insya Allah this can help. This [potion] is also known within the medical [field]. Yes this is indeed the cure," Ningsih said in the video.
"To anyone, Indonesian families who are afraid of corona or whoever is infected with corona, this is the cure. I'll pray [on these potions]. All diseases can [be cured]," she further claimed.
Ningsih is selling the potion for IDR35K (US$2.22) per bottle and suggested that it can be consumed alone or mixed with water or honey.
It may be hard to take someone like Ningsih seriously, but, in a country where supernatural beliefs are deeply rooted in its culture, the "healer" does have a huge following with nearly 2.5 million subscribers on her Youtube channel.
That feat is all the more impressive considering her methods are incompatible – even offensive – to mainstream beliefs in the Muslim-majority country.
Prior to selling the potions, Ningsih broadcasted a "mass coronavirus healing" live session on Youtube, which involved self-massage, herbal drinks, and prayers, as she had to close down her practice since last month as a precaution against COVID-19.
Ningsih's COVID-19 potion had gotten so much traction online that the Indonesian Doctor's Association (IDI) had to field a question on the matter.
Sujarwo, who heads the Pasuruan regency chapter IDI, said that Ningsih's potion is a non-medical issue.
"This is not my field anymore. Ningsih has claimed that her therapy is non-medical. So, this is not my field," Sujarwo told Detik yesterday, adding that possible criminal matters regarding the celebrity healer, such as fraud, should be taken to the authorities.
"There are no medicines for coronavirus yet. If there's a claim, it's funny, because the person who claimed it doesn't have the competency [in the medical field]," Sujarwo said, as quoted by Kumparan.
"There are several herbal medicines that have been tested, but no clinical and laboratory tests have been conducted yet. So no [coronavirus cures] until now."
We'll end this story with another reminder to only listen to medical professionals, as well as advisories from related authorities, when it comes to COVID-19 preventions.