Ayurvedic practitioner B Anandaiah on Sunday began distributing his herbal formulation among COVID-19 patients in Andhra Pradesh's Nellore district. Nearly a week after the state government gave its nod for the herbal formulation, Anandaiah and his family members started distributing the herbal concoction in Krishnapatnam, despite strong criticism from rationalists and others from the medical fraternity. People from various parts reached Krishnapatnam to receive the concoction. Long queues of people waiting to get the formulation were seen.
Anandaiah told reporters that initially the concoction was being distributed among people in Sarvepalli constituency. He said efforts were being made to ensure that every household in the constituency got the concoction. He appealed to people of other constituencies not to travel to Krishnapatnam and wait for the announcement about distribution in their respective areas.
Distribution of the concoction was stopped on May 21 as it had led to massive overcrowding at the venue in Krishnapatnam and violation of COVID-19 safety norms. The state government, on May 30, permitted the usage of the herbal preparation by taking into account the findings of the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS). The government, however, kept on hold its decision on the eye drops claimed to be life-saving for those with dangerously low levels of oxygen. While giving the permission for the herbal preparation, the state health authorities warned that COVID-19 patients should not stop taking the drugs prescribed by doctors in the normal course.
The government also stated that it is was yet to receive a conclusive proof of the efficacy of the eye drops, while it had been established that the concoction of ingredients such as honey, pepper, green camphor, nutmeg, black cumin, cinnamon, and medicinal herbs was not harmful, but may not be able to cure the coronavirus infection. Nellore district officials, however, found that Anandaiah was not a qualified professional in ayurvedic concoctions and the formula narrated by him did not form part of any standard recipe.