What number of ministers have sought Ayush look after COVID: IMA questions Centre’s Ayush protocols

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 8

The Indian Medical Association, the umbrella body of allopathy practitioners, on Thursday questioned the government’s recently issued Ayush protocol for COVID care asking how many union ministers had used these protocols for COVID19 treatment so far.

In a strong poser to Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday, IMA chief Rajan Sharma asked, “How many of your ministerial colleagues have so far made the informed choice of getting treated under these Ayush protocols?”

IMA also asked the Health Minister what was stopping the Centre from handing over COVID care and treatment to AYUSH Ministry if there’s evidence that alternative medicine system helped disease management.

“Are the proponents of AYUSH claims and Health Minister prepared to subject themselves as volunteers to an independent prospective Double Blind Control Study in prevention and treatment of Covid through these protocols? Health Minister should come clean on our posers. If he doesn’t come clean, he is inflicting a fraud on the nation and gullible patients by calling placebos as drugs,” IMA Chief Rajan Sharma said three days after the AYUSH protocol for COVID care was issued.

The IMA said Health Minister Harsh Vardhan himself released the document prescribing protocol of prevention of Covid 19 infection and treatment of asymptomatic as well as mild cases of Covid 19 based on AYUSH and yoga.

“Health Minister admits that these are based on empirical evidence which means that the evidence is anecdotal and based on individual subjective experiences. We have certain questions,” Sharma said.

Noting that science demands “Reproducibility of a claim elsewhere in non-conflict situations and Double Blind Control studies”, IMA asked the Health Minister, a modern medicine doctor, “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 public domain and available for scientific scrutiny.”

The Centre’s Ayurveda and Yoga protocol for COVID 19 has recommended Ashwagandha, Guduchi Ghana Vati, Chyawanaprasha among other drugs for disease prevention in high risk groups and in primary contacts of COVID patients and proposed Guduchi Ghana Vati and a combination of Guduchi and Pippali or AYUSH 64 drug for asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patients to prevent disease progression to symptomatic and progression from mild to moderate or severe disease.

The protocol says Guduchi-Pippali mix and AYUSH 64 tablets can be given to mild COVID patients.

The government has, however, clarified that the AYUSH protocol is not a replacement of the national clinical management protocol for COVID 19 and is only in addition to the same, and it should not be used by patients to claim a false sense of security.

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