Panaji: Only 300 of around 65,000 COVID-19 patients who used Ayurvedic formulations needed hospitalisation and none of them died due to the pandemic, a top official of the Union Ministry of Ayush said here on Friday.
Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary of Ayush Ministry, was speaking at the session on 'National Ayush Research Consortium' in the 9th World Ayurveda Congress and Expo 2022 underway here.
He said the figures were based on a study of one lakh COVID-19 patients by his ministry, the Seva Bharathi, the Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS) and other universities.
"Out of these patients, 65,000 people were in home isolation, and only 300 of them required hospitalisation. This is less than half per cent whereas the hospitalisation rate at the time was 7-10 per cent," he said.
Asserting there were huge expectations from AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy), Kotecha said scaling up research and addressing the lack of skilling in this vital sector was needed by bringing all stakeholders together to deliver effective results.
Basic science and mainstream science institutions carry out research in various areas while research in AYUSH is limited to Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN), CCRS and Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCMRUM), he added.
"There is a great mismatching of skilling in the sector and all stakeholders must act together to find a solution. We need to find a mechanism that will open up possibilities for the sector, country as well as the globe as there are lots of unanswered questions to be answered," Kotecha said.
In her address, Dr Nandini Kumar, former deputy director general, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), stressed the need for interdisciplinary collaboration, inter-professionalism and capacity building, which are required in matters regarding documentation and how to approach the ethics committee.
Dr K Madangopal, senior consultant, NITI Aayog, said the focus should be on providing a beneficial system to patients and strengthening research data in the AYUSH sector.
Suggesting a radical change, Dr Ram Manohar, director, Amrita Centre for Advanced Research in Ayurveda (ACARA), Amritapuri, said it was important to create a roadmap for research and practice in Ayurveda.
Dr Kishore Kumar Ramkrishnan, professor of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), and noted Pune-based rheumatologist Dr Arvind Chopra were also present.
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