The South American country’s congressional lawmakers voted to create a committee to examine whether chlorine dioxide could be used in the fight against the deadly virus.
The chemical is commonly used in industrial processes such as sterilizing medical equipment, cleaning industrial machinery, or bleaching wood and textiles.
Scientists around the world 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 fatal.
But in a move echoing Donald Trump’s infamous suggestion that scientists should explore the idea of injecting bleach, Peruvian congressman Posemoscrowte Chagua presented a motion to Congress on Thursday asking ministers of Health to collect evidence on the subject.
Chagua, who is a doctor, dismissed concerns that chlorine dioxide is toxic and instead suggested that it could prove to be a vital tool in the battle against the coronavirus, reported Vice.
Lawmakers voted 49 to 39 in favor of his proposal.
The vote took place as Peru continues to be devastated by the pandemic.
The country has the highest per capita death rate in the world and, as the death toll slows slightly, April saw a record number of people killed by the virus.
This follows the country’s “vaccine gate” scandal, which has seen hundreds of politicians jump the national queue to secretly receive their early blows, sparking considerable national outrage.
Samuel Cosme, secretary general of the Peruvian Society of Critical Care Specialists, condemned Congress’ decision, saying he had already had to treat several times patients with Covid-19 whose conditions had been worsened by the consumption of chlorine dioxide.
“The situation with the pandemic in Peru is lamentable, as is the situation in our congress,” he said.