‘Documentation the need of the hour for AYUSH systems’

Noting that the biggest challenge for India’s traditional medicines is the lack of concrete data, the AYUSH ministry has called on key players in the sector to work together for proper documentation of diagnosis and treatment of diseases, including deadly Covid-19, at the earliest.

“As of now there is no treatment for Covid-19. The best way is to optimize one’s immunity which can help in disease prevention or limit to comparatively milder complications in case of infection. For this, the different traditional systems of medicine (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy, Naturopathy and the like) are very effective,” said Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH.

He was delivering live talk on ‘The role of AYUSH in combating Covid-19’ as part of the ‘Lockdown Lecture Series’ being broadcast on Vijnana Bharati Youtube channel and Facebook page.

For instance, the incidence and the mortality rate of coronavirus pandemic in various states are different. In areas where people traditionally consume chavanaprash (ayurvedic preparation using amla), both the incidence and the mortality rate are very low. “This is very interesting and a study is on.”

The AYUSH official said the ministry has already started work towards documentation of different AYUSH formulations as a potential therapy for Covid-19. “We’ve collaborated with various approved research organisations like ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), CSIR (Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research) and the DBT (Department of Bio-Technology) for evidence-based study and clinical trials which will start soon,” he said.

Kotecha said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Commerce and Industrial Minister Piyush Goyal and AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik interacted multiple times with Industrialists, academicians and researchers to know the challenges faced by the sector.

“It was then decided to exempt the AYUSH sector, including medicine manufacturing and supply, from lockdown measures, considering it as an essential service. Anyone still facing any issue can contact the ministry,” he said.

The AYUSH secretary again exhorted citizens to follow its advisories on immunity boosting and keep the coronavirus pandemic at bay.

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