Just last month, Ramdev – whose real name is Ram Kisan Yadav — claimed that he did not see the need to get vaccinated because he has been practising yoga and ayurveda, or traditional Indian medicine, for decades.
Now, Ramdev has not only said that he will get vaccinated soon, but has also urged others to make sure they get both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.
He said: “Get both the vaccine doses and practice yoga and ayurveda. These two combined will give such a strong protection cover that not a single person will die due to Covid-19 in India.”
Ramdev, who has amassed an alternative medicine empire through the Patanjali brand, lauded prime minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of providing free vaccines to all adults in India.
The yoga guru had stirred a controversy last month when he clashed with India’s healthcare professionals over his claims on Covid-19 and allopathy.
He had said that “hundreds of thousands of people died after taking allopathic medicines” during the pandemic and called modern medicine “stupid”.
Angry healthcare professionals had demanded the Indian government take action against the yoga guru and prosecute him under pandemic emergency laws as a threat to public health.
Responding to questions about his confrontation with the medical community, he said on Thursday that he can’t have animosity with any organisation.
He also praised the doctors, calling them “god’s messengers”.
The yoga guru also said that there’s no doubt allopathy is best for emergency treatment or surgeries, but yoga and ayurveda are effective for other “lifestyle, genetic and incurable” diseases.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had severely criticised Ramdev for his comments on modern medicine, demanding that the “misinformation campaign on vaccination” by the yoga guru must stop.
Ramdev issued an apology after health minister Harsh Vardhan asked him to withdraw his comments.
A video surfaced later in which the yoga guru can be heard saying “even their father cannot arrest me.” He was reportedly responding to social media trends which called for his arrest.
The IMA has now written to Indian Council of Medical Research against what it says are Ramdev’s “unprovoked demeaning and prejudicing utterances against modern medicine,” according to news agency ANI.
Meanwhile, five videos shared by Ramdev that featured Covid misinformation have been removed by Facebook after they were flagged as part of an investigation published by The Independent.