Chinese government orders crackdown on herbal medicines

A Chinese government ordered a sweeping crackdown on unlicensed herbal medicine on Monday, as the country battles a deadly outbreak of coronavirus.

The government ordered all pharmacies in the country to stop selling unlicensed products, but the order was issued after local media reported that more than 200 people had been infected with the virus in the province of Henan, according to a local government statement.

The statement did not specify how many people had died.

It was not immediately clear what the source of the media report.

The Henan State Administration of Health said it had received an anonymous tip that people were selling unregistered herbal medicines in the city of Hebei, in the western part of the country.

It did not provide details of the source or say who had received the tip.

Henan is the only province where coronaviruses have spread to a large extent.

The virus, which has killed more than 5,500 people, is the worst since World War II, killing a record 4,923.

It was first detected in China in early April.

Health authorities have been trying to find ways to stop the spread of the virus.

Health Ministry officials have urged patients to take a pill of the same name as the one they received and keep it on hand at all times, to avoid coughing.