IMA asks Union Health Minister to produce evidence on ayurveda, yoga-based treatment of COVID-19

NEW DELHI: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Thursday asked the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to produce substantiating evidence on the protocol of prevention of COVID-19 infection based on AYUSH and yoga.

IMA posed several questions to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan for issuing protocol of COVID-19 prevention and treatment of asymptomatic as well as mild cases based on AYUSH and yoga.
On October 6, the Central government announced the National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for Management of COVID-19. Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan released the protocol in the virtual presence of AYUSH Minister Shripad Yesso Naik.

“Is there satisfactory evidence regarding the claims made from studies done on COVID-19 patients based on the above criteria? If so, whether the evidence is weak or moderate or strong? The evidence should be in the public domain and available for scientific scrutiny,” it said in a statement.

The IMA asked, “whether the severe form of COVID-19 a hyperimmune status or an immune deficiency status?”

“Whether the proponents of this claim and his Ministry are prepared to subject themselves as volunteers to an independent prospective double-blind control study in the prevention and treatment of COVID? How many of his ministerial colleagues have so far made the informed choice of getting treated under these protocols?” the IMA asked.

“What is stopping him from handing over COVID care and control to AYUSH ministry?

IMA has demanded that the Union Health Minister should come clean on the above posers. “If not, he is inflicting a fraud on the nation and gullible patients by calling placebos as drugs,” it added.

Questioning the scientific basis of these protocols, the IMA has asked the health minister “to give reproducibility of a claim elsewhere in non-conflict situations and double-blind control studies”.

The National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for Management of COVID-19 guidelines has recommended doing gargles with warm water added with a pinch of turmeric and salt. Water boiled with triphala also can be used for gargling. They also recommend nasal installation/application of medicated oil (anu taila or shadbindu taila) or plain oil (sesame or coconut) or nasal application of cow’s ghee (goghrita) once or twice in a day, especially before going out and after coming back to home.

The protocol also recommends steam inhalation with ajwain or pudina or eucalyptus oil once a day and adequate sleep of 6 to 8 hours.

The guidelines point out specific measures and symptom management for prophylactic care in the high-risk populations, primary contacts, for asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 patients.

The AYUSH Ministry is also studying four studies covering a huge sample size for prophylactic care. It has also undertaken about seven studies on `Guduchi’ as prophylactic care on about 1.33 lakh population.

AYUSH ministry is also studying the combination in about 200 participants through two studies in moderate COVID 19 with very positive trends. It has also undertaken six clinical studies across India which are showing very positive trends. (ANI)