Covid-19: Ministry to initiate mass study on AYUSH interventions

The AYUSH ministry is all set to initiate a mass population-based study on effectiveness of alternative medicines in prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

A nine-member working group led by P K Pathak, Additional Secretary (AYUSH Ministry), has been formed on April 17 to design the format of the study in consultation with acclaimed institutions like the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Public Health Foundation of India and the National Institute of Epidemiology.

“We’re planning to conduct a study covering nearly 50 lakh people to collect evidences and strengthen the use of AYUSH interventions,” Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, AYUSH ministry, told The Print.

The study will cover three categories of volunteers –General Public, frontline workers and Covid-19 patients.

“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.

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 incidence and mortality rate are very low, he claimed. “This is very interesting and a study is on.”

The ministry also plans to conduct clinical trials on traditional herbs such as ashwagandha, guduchi, and mulethi as immune-modulators against the viral infection.

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