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Two Indonesian Men Summoned by Police for Touting Covid-19 Cure

August 4, 2020, 10.29 PM

JAKARTA, – Indonesian singer Erdian Aji Prihartanto alias Anji and a man who claims to be a university professor are in hot water for touting a remedy for the Covid-19 virus that many dismissed as quack medicine.

The Jakarta Metropolitan Police summoned Anji and Hadi Pranoto after the Cyber Indonesia organization reported the two for spreading lies and hoaxes about Covid-19.

“[The police] will ask Anji to clarify his interview with Hadi called ‘Can We Return to Normal? Covid-19 Drug has been Found!’, which was uploaded on his YouTube channel Dunia Manji,” Jakarta Police spokesman Yusri Yunus said on August 4.

Also read: Indonesia's Indofarma to Launch Rapid Test Kits Soon

He declined to specify a date for the summons on grounds that the police are still studying the report.

Head of Cyber Indonesia Muannas Alaidid said their statements are "detrimental to [the] hospital [industry]." He added: "Rapid tests and swabs can cost hundreds of thousands or millions of rupiah, instead of 10,000 to 20,000 rupiah as [Hadi] claimed.”

Hadi Pranoto gives a press clarificationKOMPAS.COM/AFDHALUL IKHSAN Hadi Pranoto gives a press clarification

“This can undermine public confidence in hospitals, as they believe the latter is out to extort them and profit [from the pandemic].”

The Indonesian health ministry also dismissed Hadi’s cure.

“No organization in Indonesia or around the world has yet to produce a vaccine [for Covid-19], though Indonesia is cooperating with the WHO in developing one,” said Slamet, the ministry’s head of research and development.

Slamet contradicted Hadi’s claim in the video with Anji that he has “distributed over 250,000 units of the remedy to people in Sumatra, Java, Bali and Kalimantan."

"All those who tested positive for Covid-19 and received have since been cured after taking the herbal ‘antibody’.”

Also read: Indonesia's Bio Farma to Produce Up to 250 Million Doses of Covid-19 Vaccines

The Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) and the Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) disavowed Hadi’s claims.

The former claimed that Hadi is not in their database, while the latter said he did not register his herbal cure with them.

But Anji defended his decision to interview Hadi on the YouTube video, which was uploaded last Friday.

“I did not give a forum to somebody of doubtful credibility,” said the musician, who is best known for his hit "Dia" (Her). “I only gave a voice for alternative viewpoints.”

In the video, Hadi claimed to be a professor of microbiology at an unnamed university. He later rescinded the claim.

YouTube removed the video on Sunday, citing it as "inappropriate content."

If prosecuted and found guilty, Anji and Hadi face up to 10 years in jail under Indonesia’s Information and Electronic Transaction laws.

(Writers : Muhammad Isa Bustomi, Rakhmat Nur Hakim, Irfan Kamil, Dandy Bayu Bramasta, Nur Fitriatus Shalihah | Editors: Egidius Patnistik, Fabian Januarius Kuwado, Inggried Dwi Wedhaswary)


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