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By: Eleanor Valeros | Published Friday, June 26, 2020
Gov. Gwen Garcia showed a copy of the medical groups’ statement which she commended and appreciated for the being rational. (Tonee Despojo)

Cooler heads prevailed in the stand on 'tuob' or steam inhalation made by 13 medical associations. 

The doctors, in the statement, admitted tuob can provide relief but warned against burns or scalding, and recommended careful use by not performing tuob communally.

On this, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia in her virtual presser today, June 26, said that the joint statement is impressive, commending the sober and rational minds in the medical profession.

"This is a rational, very sober, very careful statement. There is not one line here that prohibits steam inhalation," Garcia said.

The statement cited scientific journals that recognized steam inhalation as a method to provide relief to nasal congestion, dry cough, and other symptoms of respiratory ailment.

The medical groups also advised "judicious use of steam inhalation to avoid burns and scalding" to which the governor did not argue.

They also warned against engaging in tuob "communally" which Garcia supported and emphasized that steam inhalation involves just a single person and not many under a blanket.

"Usa ra gyud na ka tawo ilawom sa habol. Dili lima," she said.

The medical groups are the Philippine College of Chest Physicians, UP Alumni Cebu Chapter, Philippine College of Physicians - Central Visayas Chapter, Philippine College of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, UST Alumni Association Cebu Chapter, Philippine Obstetricians and Gynecologists Society, Philippine Academy of Family Physicians, Philippine Dermatological Society - Central Visayas, Society of Opthalmologists, Philippine College of Surgeons, Philippine Society of General Surgeons, Philippine Pediatric Society - Central Visayas, and Philippine Respiratory Specialists of Cebu, Inc.

Earlier, friction sparked between the community of doctors and the governor when two young doctors threatened to slap, burn and cremate Garcia for encouraging constituents and Capitol workers to do steam inhalation therapy.

Doctors, however, appear to be divided on the issue because despite the statement, individual practitioners have expressed support or admitted doing it themselves.

Dr. Dale Pasco, a general surgeon and a professor of one of the doctors who opposed violently the practice of tuob, is an advocate of tuob himself, saying that this is actually hydrotherapy which is a practice in the US since the 1860s.

Pasco said that heat melts the fatty layer of pathogens which weakens the virus.

Dr. Willie Ong, a general practitioner, and doctor to celebrities, in a YouTube video post, demonstrated how to perform steam inhalation to relieve dry cough and other symptoms of respiratory ailment.

Netizen Jemelyn Umpad, a follower of "Ang Probinsyana," shared she "works in the hospital and does the tuob which makes me feel good specially kung ping-ut akong ilong." (Eleanor Valeros)