While several countries have amped up preventive and screening measures in light of the Coronavirus outbreak, a group of individuals from the Breakthrough Science Society based out of Kolkata have condemned the Indian government’s recommendation of Unani treatments for the virus.
“The Breakthrough Science Society expresses shock and anguish that the Press Information Bureau (PIB), Government of India has released a statement recommending members of the public to use untested Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Unani medicines to prevent and treat the illnesses caused by Coronavirus (which is wrongly mentioned as Corona virus in the advisory). Even as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has only advised the public to stick to basic preventive measures like avoiding contact with people suffering from cold, washing hands, staying away from crowded places, farm or wild animals etc, Indian government after giving similar hygiene recommendations has also advised people to take to ayurvedic practices, homoeopathic drugs and Unani medicines,” reads a press release issued by the society’s President and General Secretary.
In addition to calling for good hygiene measures to be adopted, the government’s advisory had also suggested the use of Ayurvedic medicines as a preventive measure.
The Novel Coronavirus or nCoV 2019 belongs to the same group of viruses which were behind the 2002 SARS outbreak and the ones that caused sporadic outbursts of cases of MERS in the Middle East.
After convening thrice in the past two months, the World Health Organization decided in the early hours of Friday to declare the nCoV 2019 outbreak a ‘public health emergency.’ This was done to garner more support in the form of finances and resources for countries which lacked healthcare systems which are strong enough to ward off or contain the outbreak.
In the meantime, the first positive case of Coronavirus was confirmed in Kerala on Thursday evening. A Kerala origin female student who was studying in Wuhan had returned to Thrissur from the Chinese city and was under observation by health officials. Her samples were sent to NIV Pune and returned positive for the virus.