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Modi govt wants states to start producing herbal remedy for Covid-19 immunity, sends recipe

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New Delhi: The Ministry of AYUSH (ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha, sowa rigpa and homoeopathy) has directed states and union territories to start the commercial production of a herbal decoction that it claims boosts immunity against Covid-19.

The directive comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi threw his weight behind a ministry advisory urging the use of alternative medicines to strengthen immunity amid the pandemic.

“Considering the importance of immunity boosting measures in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, Ministry of AYUSH intends to promote the use of following ready-made Ayush formulation in the interest of health promotion of the masses, which has been endorsed by the honourable Prime Minister during his address to the nation on the Constitution Day, 14th April, 2020,” the ministry says in a letter dated 24 April that has been sent to states and union territories.

The letter, which has been accessed by ThePrint, outlines the ingredients of the decoction thus: Basil (tulsi) leaves, cinnamon bark, sunthi (Zingiber officinale) and krishna marich (Piper nigrum).

A decoction is a concentrated liquid, which is prepared by heating or boiling a substance. It is generally a herbal medicinal preparation. The other names the ministry has used for the decoction in the letter are ‘kwath’, ‘kudineer’ or ‘joshanda’.


Also read: After Modi’s appeal, AYUSH ministry gets over 2,000 proposals to tackle Covid-19 pandemic


‘Decoction can be sold as teabags, tablets’

The letter, which is titled “Ayush health promotion product for commercial manufacturing by Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani drug manufacturers” shares the complete recipe of the decoction that is to be manufactured.

The letter advises manufacturers to “dry the ingredients and make a powder and put them in sachets or tea bags each of 3 grams of powder and sell to public to boost immunity”.

It suggests that the preparation can also be manufactured as tablets, which can be “consumed like tea or hot drink by dissolving in 150 ml of boiled water, once or twice daily”.

“The formulation may be manufactured and sold in generic name as ‘Ayush Kwath’ or ‘Ayush Kudineer’ or ‘Ayush Joshanda’,” the letter adds.

The ministry also directs the AYUSH Licensing Authorities to consider granting approval to interested, licensed ASU (ayurveda, siddha, unani) drug manufacturers for the production of this herbal medicine, in accordance with the provisions of the Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945.


Also read: Honey-pepper and water boiled with tulsi-haldi — Modi bats for Covid-19 ‘home remedies’


PM Modi’s immunity advice 

On 14 April, in an address to the nation, PM Modi had recommended following AYUSH Ministry’s guidelines that suggest a range of home remedies to boost immunity.

The advice offered includes frequently sipping water boiled with tulsi leaves, crushed ginger and turmeric (haldi), timely sleep, eating freshly cooked food, and practising yoga and pranayama under the guidance of qualified instructors.

The ministry has also urged the consumption of ‘chyavanprash’ in the morning, and a “herbal tea” or decoction made from tulsi, cinnamon, black pepper, dry ginger and raisin once or twice a day. It also advised people to drink “golden milk” — turmeric powder mixed into 150 ml hot milk — once or twice a day.

The government had earlier recommended some siddha treatments as well, especially the “Nilavembu Kudineer decoction” — a combination of nine herbs used to treat fevers caused by viral infections, malaria, chikungunya, among others — twice a day. A decoction made “by boiling Behidana, Unnab, Sapistan in water” was the unani remedy advised.


Also read: Homoeopathy for coronavirus: Is AYUSH commitment to alt meds healthy or promoting quackery?


 

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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”


Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot


‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.


Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


 

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