AYUSH’s homeopathic medicine to prevent Coronavirus under criticism

Hyderabad: Following the outbreak of Corona virus, the ministry of AYUSH had announced that homeopathy drugs would be significantly beneficial in treating the infection. Now, the government of Telangana’s AYUSH department is distributing homeopathic tablets at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Dr MCR HRD Institute of Telangana, and the government homeopathy hospital at Ramanthapur in Hyderabad.

While the ministry has stressed the benefits of homeopathic tablets as preventive medicine, the move has come under severe criticism from various quarters. P. Sravan Kumar, superintendent of Gandhi Hospital, which has been set as a nodal centre for Corona virus in Telangana, told NewsMeter, “There is no scientific basis for such claims. How can we rely on something unless it’s proved? The medical world is still struggling for an answer. Untested medications can mislead the public.”

The Telangana government has advised anyone older than one year to take six pills a day for three days continuously. For infants, three tablets with mother’s milk have been advised. Under the condition of anonymity, a senior doctor who works in a Telangana government hospital told NewsMeter, “We don’t even know the genetic structure of this virus. How can a preventive medicine be brought out? The government is doing this to prevent the public from panicking. Homeopathic medicines don’t have any side effects on people. So, whoever wants to take them let them. Even during swine flu, the government had a similar strategy.”

Responding to the objections raised against AYUSH’s homeopathic tablets, G. Venugopal Gouri, secretary of the homoeopathic medical association of Telangana, told NewsMeter that the infection spreads when an infected person sneezes or coughs and a healthy person inhales the same and the virus spreads into the immune system. He said that now the challenge is to see that the population does not get afflicted with the virus and the infection.

“Homeopathic medicine works on the principle of ‘Similia Similibus Curentur’. In the sense that there are a set of symptoms a disease produces. If there is a substance that can produce all the similar symptoms of the disease, it is taken and put through a process of potentization when the crude substance is refined and activated into a potent medicine. This medicine, when given to a person with the disease, sensitises the immune system to fight the invader and thereby cure the disease,” Dr Venugopal said.

Meanwhile, Dr John Mannanuru, a government medical officer, told NewsMeter, “The chances of the tablets preventing Corona virus is 40 per cent. Also, we believe this preventive medicine can work regardless of age.” Responding to the question of how a medicine can be prepared for something which is new, the doctor replied, “It is a fact that the virus is absolutely new to the human immune system but as such the symptoms that are produced, the virulence with which it attacks, is similar to many previous viruses like the SARS. So it has not been difficult to come to a conclusion as far as medicine is concerned.”

The ministry of AYUSH has finalised a medicine, “Arsenic alb 30”, and suggested that it be given to everyone.

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