The World Health Organisation gave a clarification on the treatment of coronavirus with traditional medicines. In a tweet, WHO South-East Asia clarified that it has not reviewed or certified any traditional medicine to treat or prevent COVID-19. "@WHO has not reviewed or certified the effectiveness of any traditional medicine for the treatment #COVID19.”
This comes after Ramdev-promoted Patanjali Ayurved claimed that immunity booster- Coronil has received the Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product (CoPP) from the Ayush section of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation as per the WHO certification scheme.
At the launch event on February 19 where Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari were also present, the Patanjali product was billed by the company as the "first evidence-based medicine for COVID-19". According to media reports, at the launch event in a billboard behind the table where Ramdev and Union Ministers sat were the claims that the medicine was CoPP and WHO GMP certified, which means it holds a certificate of a pharmaceutical product (CoPP) and is recognised by the World Health Organisation's Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Both these standards approximately define quality assurance in medicinal products.
"Patanjali has made history in the field of Ayurveda as Coronil has been recognized by WHO as First Evidence-Based Medicine for Corona," Rakesh Mittal, one of the top executives at Patanjali Ayurved had tweeted. However, now, he has deleted the tweet.
Patanjali Ayurved managing director Acharya Balkrishna later made a clarification about what he said was ‘to avoid confusion.
"We want to clarify to avoid confusion that our WHO GMP compliant COPP certificate to Coronil is issued by DCGI, Government of India. It is clear that WHO does not approve or disapprove of any drugs. WHO works for building a better, healthier future for people all over the world," Mr Balkrishna tweeted.
Retweeting the WHO’s clarification, the opposition attacked the Centre. "I hope our Health Minister stops embarrassing the nation with such claims to promote Coronil. I strongly believe in Ayurveda but to claim it as a WHO guaranteed cure against COVID and endorse it, is nothing but cheating as well as misleading the nation," Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said.
Earlier in July 2020- when the coronavirus cases were on a peak across India, Patanjali Ayurved had claimed Coronil could provide strong protection against the coronavirus. However, debunking claims, the AYUSH Ministry in a statement said Coronil can be sold only as an immunity-booster and not as a ‘cure’.