Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tyesday released the National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for the management of COVID-19.
"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," Harsh Vardhan was quoted as saying in a statement.
Reportedly, the protocol promotes the use of ashwagandha, guduchi, pippali, Ayush 64 tablets in different doses, and yoga to prevent COVID-19, treat mild symptoms of the infection and for post-COVID self-care.
Meanwhile, the Health Minister's move has not gone down well with the Indian Medical Association (IMA). On Thursday, the IMA has posed five questions and demanded Harsh Vardhan to "come clean". "If not, he is inflicting a fraud on the nation and gullible patients by calling placebos as drugs," read the strong-worded letter.
The IMA stated that science demands i) reproducibility of a claim elsewhere in non-conflict situations ii) Double-Blind Control studies.
Based on the criteria, the IMA posed five questions to the Health Minister. Here are the questions:
1. Is there satisfactory evidence regarding the claims made from studies done on COVID-19 patients? If so whether the evidence is weak or moderate or strong?
2. Whether the severe form of COVID-19 a Hyperimmune status or an immune deficiency status?
3. Whether the proponents of this claim and his Ministry are prepared to subject themselves volunteers to an independent prospective Double-Blind Control Study in prevention and treatment of COVID?
4. How many of his ministerial colleagues have so far made the informed choice of getting treated under these protocols?
5. What is stopping him from handing over COVID care and control to AYUSH ministry?