The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Thursday raised questions on Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan's move to promote yoga and Ayurvedic herbs for prevention of coronavirus infection and treatment of mild and asymptomatic cases. The apex medical body issued a press release asking to provide scientific evidence which advanced the protocols of the guidelines released by Vardhan on Tuesday.
The union minister had released a protocol for the clinical management of COVID-19, that lists dietary measures, yoga and Ayurvedic herbs and formulations such as Ashwagandha and AYUSH-64 for prevention of coronavirus infection and treatment of mild and asymptomatic cases.
The questions asked by IMA were:
Whether the severe form of Covid-19 is a hyperimmune status or an immune-deficiency status?
Whether the proponents of this claim and the Health Ministry are prepared to subject themselves as volunteers to an independent prospective 'Double Blind Control' study in prevention and treatment of Covid?
How many ministerial colleagues of Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan have till now made the informed choice of getting treated under these protocols?
What is stopping him (Dr Harsh Vardhan) from handing over Covid-19 care and control to AYUSH?
The association has said that the Union Health Minister should come clean on these posers. "If not, he is inflicting a fraud on the nation and gullible patients by calling placebos as drugs," it added.
Meanwhile, the ''National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for Management of COVID-19'' was released on Tuesday by Vardhan in the virtual presence of Shripad Naik, Minister of State for AYUSH.
"This protocol dealing with preventive and prophylactic measures is a significant step not only in management of COVID-19 but also in making traditional knowledge relevant to solving problems of the modern time," Vardhan was quoted as saying in a statement.
"Unfortunately, Ayurveda did not receive much attention after independence until Prime Minister Narendra Modi took up this cause with the importance it deserves," he said while stressing that Ayurveda "had a significant impact in the foundations of modern medicine".
The AYUSH ministry, in the protocol document, had pointed out that the current understanding indicates a good immune system is vital for prevention of coronavirus infection and to safeguard from disease progression.
The protocol suggests use of medicines such as Ashwagandha, Guduchi Ghana Vati or Chyawanaprasha as prophylactic care for high risk population and primary contacts of patients.