Lawmakers in the South American country’s congress have voted to set up a committee investigating if chlorine dioxide could be used in the fight against the deadly virus.
The chemical is commonly used in industrial processes such as sterilising medical equipment, cleaning industrial machinery or bleaching wood and textiles.
Scientists across the planet have repeatedly warned against its use inside the human body pointing out that the effects – including internal bleeding, respiratory failure and acute kidney failure – could be lethal.
But in a move echoing Donald Trump’s infamous suggestion that scientists should explore the idea of injecting bleach, Peruvian congress member Posemoscrowte Chagua introduced a congress motion on Thursday asking health ministers to take evidence on the subject.
Lawmakers voted 49 to 39 in favour of his proposal.
The vote came as Peru continues to be devastated by the pandemic.
The country has the highest reported per capita death rates in the world and, while fatality numbers are now slowing slightly, April saw record numbers of people killed by the virus.
That followed the country’s “vaccinegate” scandal, which saw hundreds of politicians jump the national queue to secretly receive their jabs early, prompting considerable national outrage.
All the same, not everyone agrees that bleach is the answer to the nation’s woes.
Samuel Cosme, general secretary of Peru’s society of intensive care specialists, condemned congress’s move, saying he had already had to repeatedly treat Covid-19 patients whose conditions had been worsened by consuming chlorine dioxide.
“The situation with the pandemic in Peru is lamentable, and so is the situation in our congress,” he said.