A group of people in Gujarat has been visiting a cow shelter run by Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Prathisthanam (SGVP) to take the 'cow dung therapy'. During the therapy, the groupmates smear cowdung all over their bodies believing that it increases immunity against COVID-19.
The shelter houses over 200 cows. For the last one month, around 15 persons visit it every Sunday to apply cow dung and cow urine on the body. It is then washed off with cow milk, said an SGVP official.
Those taking the therapy include some frontline workers and people working at medical stores, he said.
Doctors in Gujarat have warned against this therapy saying that it does not give protection against coronavirus but may cause other infections including mucormycosis.
Dr Mona Desai, a senior doctor from the city, termed the therapy as "humbug and inauthentic".
"Cow dung is nothing but body waste. Applying cow dung and urine can never boost immunity or protect you from coronavirus. People should consult doctors and stay away from such therapies," said Dr Desai, chairperson of the women's wing of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
"Instead of proving helpful, cow dung would give you other infections, including mucormycosis," she said.
Mucormycosis, also called black fungus infection, has been observed among some COVID-19 survivors and can be fatal.
"Since cow dung also carries several fungi, they may enter into the body and infect you. I urge people to be little aware and not put their lives in danger," said Desai.
This news has since gone viral on Twitter making a lot of people scratch their heads in confusion, shock, and amusement. While many are upset and disgusted by this therapy, others have taken this opportunity to make fun and laugh around.
Here's what the reaction to cow dung therapy looks like. Check it out.