The Ministry of AYUSH on Tuesday asked Patanjali Ayurved to stop advertising some preparations that the company claims can cure the coronavirus, according to a government press release. The ministry said that it does not know the facts related to the claim and details of the studies carried out to test the preparations. Yoga guru Ramdev, the founder of Patanjali Ayurved, had made the announcements at a media interaction in Haridwar earlier in the day.

“The concerned Ayurvedic drug manufacturing company has been informed that such advertisements of drugs including Ayurvedic medicines are regulated under the provisions of Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 and Rules thereunder and the directives issued by the Central Government in the wake of COVID outbreak,” the ministry said. It added that a gazette notification had been published on April 21 outlining the requirements and the manner the research studies on the coronavirus with ayurvedic and other alternative “medicines” should be undertaken.

The Ministry of AYUSH said it has asked Patanjali Ayurved to provide without delay the names and compositions of the preparations being claimed as cures for the coronavirus, details of the sites where the research was carried out, protocol followed, sample size used, the clearance obtained from the Institutional Ethics Committee to conduct the research, registration with the Clinical Trials Registry, and the results of the research. It asked Patanjali Ayurved to stop advertising that it had found a cure for the contagion until it examines the matter.

Ramdev announces ‘cure’ for Covid-19

Earlier on Tuesday, Ramdev claimed that he had found Ayurvedic preparations that cure the coronavirus, News18 reported. The “medicines” were produced through research by Patanjali Research Institute in Haridwar and National Institute of Medical Sciences in Jaipur, Ramdev said.

The “medicines”, named Coronil and Swasari, showed 100% favourable results during clinical trials on affected patients at Patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar, the yoga guru said at a press conference in the town.

“The whole country and the world was waiting for medicine or vaccine for coronavirus,” Ramdev said according to the Hindustan Times. “We are proud to announce that the first Ayurvedic, clinically controlled trial based evidence and research-based medicine has been prepared by the combined efforts of Patanjali Research Centre and NIMS.” He claimed that 100% patients who were given the “medicines” recovered within three to seven days.

Ramdev said the drug trials were conducted in Delhi and Ahmedabad and many other cities. He claimed that all 280 patients who were treated with the preparations recovered and that a clinical trial was carried out after this. The yoga guru added that necessary approvals for conducting the trials had been taken from requisite authorities.

A press release from Patanjali said: “A combination of optimum concentration comprises of Divya Swasari Vati, Patanjali Giloy Ghanwati, Patanjali Tulsi Ghanwati and Patanjali Ashwagandha capsules along with Patanjali Divya Anu Taila was administered in Corona positive patients to tackle the outbreak.”

Ramdev said the preparations were being launched immediately. “This medicine kit is not available anywhere for now and will be made available at Patanjali stores in a week,” he said. Ramdev added that an app will be launched where people can order the “medicines”.

Patanjali Chief Executive Officer Acharya Balakrishna said that the kit will be available for Rs 545 and can be used for 30 days.

Scientific community skeptical

However, the scientific community was skeptical and urged caution. “I would urge caution from prematurely drawing conclusions from this study,” Dr SP Kalantri, Professor of Medicine at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, said. “We need to assess the study methodology and its design and examine the data critically before we conclude that the drug is safe and effective for Covid-19 patients.” He asked the study investigators to share their results with the scientific community so that they could be critically appraised.

On June 16, researchers in the United Kingdom achieved a breakthrough when they discovered that the drug dexamethasone cuts the risk of death for coronavirus patients on ventilators by 33%. The drug also reduces deaths of patients on oxygen support by 20%, the researchers found.

However, no cure for Covid-19 has yet been discovered. Efforts are being made worldwide to find a vaccine for the disease, with a few inoculation candidates progressing to the human trial stage.

So far, over 91 lakh cases of the coronavirus have been reported globally. Over 4.72 lakh of these patients have died, while more than 45 lakh have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. India is the fourth-most affected country in the world, with over 4.40 lakh infections and 14,000 deaths.

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