The Indian Medical Association rubbished the claims made by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan that called for promoting alternative medicines and yoga for COVID-19 patients. Earlier this week, the health minister had released a document that prescribed protocols for treating asymptomatic as well as mild patients and preventing COVID-19 based on Ayurveda and Yoga.

Interestingly, the protocol promoted Ayurvedic medicines like ashwagandha, Guduchi, pippali, Ayush 64 tablets in different doses including Yoga to prevent COVID, treat mild symptoms. These medicines are also claimed to have shown effective results in post-COVID self-care.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan releases the AYUSH ministry's Covid treatment protocol
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan released the AYUSH ministry's Covid treatment protocolCredit:Twitter

'How many ministers treated under AYUSH protocols?'

As per a report published in the Print, Rajan Sharma, IMA national president, and secretary-general R.V. Asokan have sought a response from Harsh Vardhan on five questions. 'How many of his ministerial colleagues have so far got treated under AYUSH protocols?' one question asked. In another question, they asked - 'what is stopping him from handing over COVID care and control to the AYUSH ministry (from his own health ministry)?'

In a press release IMA also wrote, "If not, he is inflicting a fraud on the nation and gullible patients by calling placebos (Placebo) as drugs." The Indian Medical Association (IMA) is a national voluntary organization of Indian doctors of the Modern Scientific Method of Medicine who look after or provide for the needs of physicians or the health of the general population. The association has a membership of more than 2.3 lakh doctors all across India.

International Yoga Day 2020
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Loggerheads with government

The IMA has been at the loggerheads with the government ever since the pandemic started on multiples issues with the Ayurvedic medicines being the latest episode. IMA has had shown its anger when the government failed to provide data on the number of doctors who died of COVID-19 while treating patients. In such circumstances, the government "loses the moral authority to administer the Epidemic Act 1897 and the Disaster Management Act, IMA contested. Moreover, IMA accused the government of "indifference," "abdication" and "abandonment of heroes."