The distribution of the medicines AYUSH-64 and Kabasura Kudineer will be done in a transparent and efficient manner to out of hospital patients, the ministry said.

A doctor in a PPE suit checking a COVID-19 patient
Coronavirus Coronavirus Monday, May 24, 2021 - 13:01

The AYUSH ministry has announced that it will distribute two ayurvedic medicines to out of hospital COVID-19 patients. The distribution will be done through Seva Bharathi, an umbrella of community service organisations allied to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). “In a concerted response to the second surge of COVID-19 infection in the country, Ministry of AYUSH is launching a massive nationwide campaign today to distribute its proven poly herbal Ayurvedic drugs AYUSH 64 and Siddha drug Kabasura Kudineer for the benefit of the vast majority of out of hospital COVID-19 patients. The efficacy of these drugs has been proved through robust multi-centre clinical trials,” the ministry said in a statement.

The initiative will be launched by Minister of State (independent charge for Youth Affairs and Sports) and Minister for AYUSH Kiren Rijiju. Speaking about the distribution of the drugs by Seva Bharathi, the ministry said, “A comprehensive strategy of distribution has been chalked out and the rollout will unfold in a phased manner, utilising the wide network of various institutions working under the aegis of the ministry and this will be supported by the countrywide network of Seva Bharathi.”

AYUSH-64, which was first developed to manage malaria, was repurposed for COVID-19 “as the ingredients showed notable antiviral, immune-modulator and antipyretic properties.” Reportedly, an in-silico study done on the drug showed that 35 of its 36 phyto-constituents “have high binding affinity against COVID-19 virus” and the drug has reportedly shown promising results against Influenza like Illness (ILI). After six clinical studies done across India, this drug has been identified as a “potential adjunct to standard care in the management of asymptomatic, mild and moderate COVID-19 to improve the clinical recovery and quality of life.” More details about the drug can be found here.

“AYUSH-64 is recommended in National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga which is vetted by the National Task Force on COVID-19 Management of ICMR and guidelines for Ayurveda practitioners for COVID-19 patients in home isolation,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Kabasura Kudineer is an anti-viral Siddha formulation and appears to be one of the medicines prescribed under interventions in mild to moderate cases of COVID-19, as per Siddha guidelines under the Ministry of AYUSH.

AYUSH’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) collaboration has recently completed a multi-centre clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of AYUSH-64 in the management of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients. Kabasura Kudineerwas also subjected to clinical trials for studying the efficacy in COVID-19 patients by Central Council Research in Siddha (CCRS) under Ministry of Ayush, and found it useful for cases of mild infection.

Seva Bharathi has reportedly already begun distribution in places. According to IANS, Seva Bharathi distributed AYUSH-64 tablets in villages of the Awadh region (in Lucknow) on May 23. Sewa Pramukh, Awadh Prant, Devendra Asthana, told reporters that 1.5 lakh tablets have already been given for distribution. “More tablets will be provided if needed,” he said. The medicine is being distributed at four centres in Lucknow that include Saraswati Vidya Mandir in Indira Nagar and Aliganj, Munda Vir Mandir in Alambagh and Sewa Bharti office at Rakabganj.

This initiative comes even as some experts have pointed out that the push for AYUSH could be counter-productive to containing the pandemic.

Read: Why the push for AYUSH is harmful: Narendra Nayak interview

Recently, yoga guru Ramdev also withdrew his remarks calling modern medicine “stupid science”, after receiving strong rebukes from Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and the Indian Medical Association (IMA). Earlier, his company Patanjali had received flak for lying that its product ‘Coronil’ – advertised to be used as a treatment for COVID-19 – was certified by the World Health Organisation. The WHO itself came out with a clarification that it hadn’t reviewed or certified the product.

(With IANS inputs)

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