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Experts cast doubt over claims by officials in the city of Osaka that a gargling medicine could help treat coronavirus patients, even as shelves across Japan were stripped clean of popular brands.

There’s not enough evidence to support Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura’s claim that gargling with diluted povidone-iodine could prevent mild coronavirus patients from falling seriously ill, Toshio Nakagawa, chairman of the Japan Medical Association, told reporters Wednesday. The World Health Organization Center for Health Development also added to skepticism.

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