The Indian Medical Association on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling for an end to yoga guru Ramdev’s “misinformation campaign” against coronavirus vaccines and demanding action against him under the sedition law, ANI reported.
In a video that is being widely circulated online, Ramdev claimed that 1,000 doctors died even after getting two doses of the vaccine. Scroll.in couldn’t independently verify the authenticity of the video. Some reports quoted Ramdev as saying that 10,000 doctors died even after being fully inoculated.
The Indian Medical Association said in its letter that it was well-proven that vaccination could save people from severe Covid-19 infection. “At this juncture, painfully we bring to your kind notice, the video claiming 10,000 doctors have died in spite of taking both the doses of vaccine and lakhs of people have died due to allopathic medicine are circulating virally in the social media, as said by Mr Ramdev, owner of Patanjali products,” the association told Modi.
The association, citing its data, said 753 doctors died due to the coronavirus in the first wave of the pandemic, while 513 died in the second wave. “None in the first wave could receive the vaccine and the majority who died in the second wave also could not take their vaccine for various reasons,” it added.
The top medical body said that Ramdev’s “deceitful” comment was a deliberate move to “stall the efforts of vaccination to reach our masses”.
The Indian Medical Association also highlighted Ramdev’s comments on allopathic medicines. “We the members of the modern medicine professionals submit; we follow the guidelines and protocols issued by the ministry of health through ICMR [Indian Council of Medical Research] or the National Task Force in our treatment offered to millions of people coming to our hospitals,” it said. “If someone is claiming the allopathic medicine has killed people, it is an attempt to challenge the ministry which has issued the protocol for treatment to us.”
The association said it was pained to see the services of doctors being ridiculed. The medical body added:
“We appeal to your highness, to take appropriate action against individuals viciously propagating the message of fear on vaccination and challenge the government of India protocols for treatment for their vested interest in their company products. This in our opinion is a clear-cut case of a sedition and such persons should be booked immediately without any delay under the charges of sedition.”— Indian Medical Association
On Tuesday, the Indian Medical Association’s Uttarakhand unit had sent a defamation notice to Ramdev for calling allopathic medicine a “stupid science” last week. He had also claimed that lakhs of Covid-19 patients died because of allopathic medicines rather than a shortage of oxygen.
The association sought a video of Ramdev withdrawing his comments and a written apology within 15 days, failing which would attract Rs 1,000 crore as compensation.
The Yoga guru had withdrawn his statements on Sunday, shortly after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan asked him to do so.
Ramdev’s comments came amid India’s fight to contain a massive second wave of the coronavirus disease, which has overwhelmed the country’s health infrastructure. Several states are facing acute shortages of oxygen and Covid-19 vaccine doses.
On Wednesday, India reported 2.08 lakh new cases, taking the overall count of cases past 2.71 crore since the pandemic first broke out in January 2020. The country’s toll rose by 4,157 to 3,11,388.