CARI to determine efficacy of ayurvedic medicine touted as miracle cure for COVID-19

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Amaravati, May 21 (PTI): As thousands of people began flocking to Krishnapatnam village in SPS Nellore district to get what is being touted as a miracle cure for COVID-19, the state government on Friday roped in the Central Ayurvedic Research Institute to conduct a 'very scientific and authentic exercise' to determine the efficacy of the medicine.

The Ayush Department of the state government collected samples of the medicines and sent them for laboratory tests in Hyderabad to detect the ingredients being used and to check if there is anything harmful.

The Ayurvedic preparation, which has now come to be known as 'Krishnapatnam Medicine', has created quite a buzz in the social media, resulting in a heavy rush of people to the village over the last few days.

The ruling YSR Congress MLA and party SPS Nellore district president K Govardhan Reddy is said to be promoting the medicine.

Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, during a high-level review on the COVID-19 situation in the state,noted that since there was a belief among a large number of people that the medicine was helping them tackle Covid, both in a curative and preventive manner, there was a need for a very authentic understanding of the issue.

Accordingly, Principal Secretary (Health) Anil Kumar Singhal spoke to Union Ayush Department Secretary and also the Director General of CARI, requesting them to undertake a study on the medicine.

The CARIs regional centre based in Vijayawada would be sending its team of experts to Krishnapatnam on Monday to study the process of medicine preparation, the ingredients used and other aspects.

'The experts will take up an appropriate study of this treatment and arrive at an authentic and authoritative conclusion on the effectiveness of what is happening there,' Anil told a press conference here on Friday night.

He said the state Commissioner of Ayush was now camping in Krishnapatnam with a team and has spoken to people who have taken the medicine.

The Commissioner reported that only about 4,000 people who went to Krishnapatnam on Friday could get the medicine.

'They all expressed satisfaction. In fact, none has been able to identify people who have reported negative effects after treatment or reported negatively about the treatment, he pointed out.

'But we dont know what is the reality or outcome of the whole exercise,' the Principal Secretary observed.

Tests of the samples collected so far revealed no harmful ingredient in the medicine, Anil added.

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, who hails from SPS Nellore district, also asked Union Minister for Ayush Kiren Rijiju and Indian Council of Medical Research Director Balram Bhargava to conduct a study on the Krishnapatnam medicine.

He asked them to come out with a report as early as possible, a release here said.

Doctor-turned-bureaucrat (retired) P V Ramesh, who previously worked as Principal Secretary (Health) and also Special Chief Secretary to Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, dubbed the so-called Krishnapatnam medicine 'yet another recipe for disaster'.

'Governments must stop such epidemics of superstition.

Those preparing and promoting this Krishnapatnam concoction are punishable under the Pharmacy Act, 1948, and Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, 1954,' Ramesh, who actively oversaw the AP governments Covid-19 management last year, said.

From tens to hundreds and now thousands, people are flocking to Krishnapatnam village, even violating COVID-19 protocols, to take the medicine being offered by an Ayurvedic practitioner B Anandaiah, who once worked as the village sarpanch and later a member of the mandal parishad.

He began the medicine distribution on April 21, Sri Rama Navami day.

A team of Ayurvedic doctors from the Department of Ayush visited the village a couple of days ago and enquired about the medicine and submitted a report to the government, saying the medicine preparation, treatment process and the after- effects needs to be studied in a scientific manner.

The team said none of those who took the medicine complained of any ill effects on taking the Krishnapatnam medicine.

It said Anandaiah was preparing five different medicines using natural herbs,honey and spices and giving it to COVID-19 positive patients, suspects and those with lung problems.

'One of the COVID-19 patients saw his oxygen level rise to 95 from 83 in an hour after getting two drops of the medicine administered in his eyes.

We have spoken to the patients,' the Ayurvedic doctors said in the report.

The SPS Nellore district medical and health officer and Nellore Revenue Divisional Officer were also part of the official team.

The team, however, said no COVID-19 rules were being followed in the village where the medicine was being given.

On Friday, there was a virtual stampede at Krishnapatnam as over 10,000 people thronged it for the medicine, the supply of which was resumed after a break for a few days. PTI DBV APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR

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