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Image: Arak Bali. Credit: Kura Kura Guide. 

Bali Governor Wayan Koster has claimed a traditional Balinese treatment using Balinese arak is effective in healing Covid-19 patients without major symptoms.

“The arak therapy turned out to be very effective. After three days on the treatment many positive cases became negative and were cured,” said Bali Governor Wayan Koster at Jayasabha Residence in Denpasar on Wednesday (7/22).

According to Koster, the therapy or usada (traditional Balinese medicine), which is based on distilled Balinese wine, made from grapes and aniseed, has been tested on hundreds of positive cases of Covid-19, who were being treated in a number of quarantine sites. “It was tested with kaffir lime leave extract, combined with eucalyptus oil. It turns out that the cure rate now has increased considerably for those treated in quarantine,” he said.

Koster claimed that he himself initiated the therapy using Balinese arak for the treatment of Covid-19, then commissioned a researcher to make a specially made distilled Balinese wine. “Initially from 19 samples, 15 recovered, then 40, 100, and 200 samples were raised, and nearly 80 percent recovered with this treatment,” said the 1981 alumni of SMAN 1 Singaraja and who holds a Doctorate in Mathematics at ITB Bandung.

For the Covid-19 treatment, he continued, the wine infused with lime extract is not imbibed, but the steam is inhaled using a device called a nebulizer. “Every time I want to sleep, I also breathe it in,” said the former Member of the Republic of Indonesia DPR for three periods.

After Balinese arak therapy was administered to patients treated in quarantine, Koster said that quarantine sites that were initially lacking and had to rent three hotels, now many were lying idle. “What makes me happy is that there have been many people healed with this treatment. The one who conducted the laboratory research and testing was Prof. Gelgel, and the wine was distilled specifically for this use,” he said.

Koster also claimed he had informed the Minister of Justice and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly when they met while inaugurating the Village Law and Human Rights Service Post (Posyankumhamdes) in Gianyar Regency on Tuesday (21/7).

“This product will be patented soon because it has specific ingredients. I encouraged the Health Office to do this. If it is totally proven and legalized with patents, this could become a new industry based on local wisdom,” said the PDIP politician from Sembiran Village, Tejakula District, Buleleng Regency.

Thus, said Koster, arak has two functions, firstly the traditional beverage industry which competes with soju and sake in accordance with the aim of the Bali Governor Regulation No. 1 of 2020 concerning Management of Fermented Beverages and / or Distinctive Distillation of Bali, and also for health and therapeutic treatment of positive patient Covid- 19. (And let’s not forget, hand sanitiser. Ed)

Based on data from the Bali Covid-19 Task Force until Wednesday (22/7) of the cumulative number of positive cases of Covid-19 in Bali totaled 2,934 people, and the number of patients who have recovered sits at 2,178 people (74.23 percent).