THE Cebu City Government spent P2.5 million for the purchase of 1,000 steam inhalation, or “tuob”, kits that were distributed to coronavirus patients staying in barangay isolation centers in May.
Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo said Friday, July 10, 2020, that the City paid P2,500 for each kit.
He struck down criticisms that the kits were expensive.
“For me, if we can help one patient recover from Covid-19 with only P2,500 budget, that’s very cheap for a single life we save,” said Guardo.
Each kit consisted of one electric water heater/steamer, one steam gown, one adult bath towel, two hand towels, one industrial plastic chair, and one water basin, according to General Services Officer June Maratas.
A resolution approved by the City Council in May requested the Executive Department to study the benefits of steam inhalation therapy or “tuob,” but did not authorize the purchase of the kits.
SunStar Cebu asked Maratas about the source of the funds used to acquire the kits, but Maratas has not responded as of Friday evening.
The kits were distributed to the following isolation centers:
* Tejero Elementary School (33 kits), Bacayan (41), Mambaling Elementary School (280) on May 14;
* Tejero (80) on May 15;
* Sambag 2 (five), Inayawan (five), Punta Princesa (five), Pasil (five), San Nicolas Proper Elementary School (135), Carreta (15), Lahug (five), Guadalupe Elementary School (10), Guadalupe Elementary School MCC (10), Mambaling Elementary School (280), Don Vicente Rama Elementary School (30), and Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 (50) on May 18;
* Ermita (five), Duljo Fatima (30), Lahug Elementary School (five), Guadalupe Elementary School (10), Carreta Elementary School (15), Pasil Elementary School (five) on May 20; and
* Kinasang-an (30), and Guadalupe Elementary School (30) on May 21.
As for his “tuob” challenge which he launched through his Facebook account, Guardo said the kits used for the prize were all donated by private individuals.
He clarified that he did not claim that “tuob” can cure the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), but cited how steam inhalation stopped his cough and runny nose.
Guardo said he “just wants them (Covid-19 patients) to experience” how tuob helped him.
“I did not say that steam inhalation can cure Covid-19, but it can help,” he said.
The Department of Health (DOH) and medical groups have declared that there is no scientific evidence that steam inhalation therapy kills Sars-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
They warned that this may cause scalding injuries. (JJL)