COVID-19: AYUSH practitioners can’t prescribe medicines as ‘treatment’

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 15

Qualified AYUSH and Homoeopathic practitioners can prescribe government-approved tablets, mixtures as add-on drugs to conventional treatment for COVID19 patients, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday.

A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, however, said such qualified AYUSH and Homoeopathic practitioners can’t advertise anything as a cure for COVID19.

The verdict came on an appeal against an order passed by the Kerala High Court on August 21 that prohibited AYUSH doctors from advertising or prescribing medicines as cure for COVID19, except for the purpose of boosting immunity, as permitted under the Centre’s March 6, 2020 advisory.

Noting that Homoeopathy, Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and naturopathy can be used for enhancing immunity to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, the High Court had given liberty to the state authorities to take appropriate action under the Disaster Management Act against those violating the advisory.

The Centre had submitted that homoeopathy practitioners can prescribe treatment to COVID19 positive patients as a preventive measure and not as a cure.

The Ministry of AYUSH had said all these medicines were to be administered as a preventive measure or as an add-on to the conventional treatment and should not be prescribed as a cure.

The drugs prescribed by Homoeopathic medical practitioners were for preventive and prophylactic use, for symptom management of COVID19-like illnesses, and add-on interventions to conventional care, it had clarified.

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