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Minister of State (MoS) for AYUSH, Shripad Y Naik, on Saturday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set up a task force for scientific validation of Ayurveda and traditional medicinal formulas, through research institutions like Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), for treatment of COVID-19.
"We have received 2000 proposals, of which many will be sent to ICMR and other research institutes after screening them for assessing their scientific validity," Naik said.
In January, the ministry had issued an advisory for the "prevention" of COVID-19 using homeopathy and "symptomatic management" using Unani medicines. The advisory had received massive flak and the ministry since then, has come under repeated criticism for spreading pseudoscientific medicines as alternative medicines.
After PM Modi's appeals, the AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) ministry had called for inputs from AYUSH practitioners and AYUSH institutions on therapies and procedures and formulas that could curb the spread of COVID-19.
According to the ministry's notification they have been "receiving numerous suggestions from practitioners and institutions in the AYUSH sector regarding possible solutions from AYUSH disciplines to restrain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic."
"Such inputs have been received over phone, emails and social media in large numbers in the last two weeks," the notification read.
On March 28, PM Modi had appreciated the efforts of the ministry in a video conference with AYUSH practitioners, and suggested that AYUSH medicine producers could use their resources to produce essential items like sanitizers.
After the PM's call to work for scientific evidence-based solutions, an online channel on the Ayush Ministry's website was created to receive suggestions and feedback based on scientific explanations and proposals on therapies prepared as per the standard scientific guidelines that could mitigate the spread of the COVID-19.
"So far, the ministry has received around 1,300 proposals under Ayurveda, followed by 700 under homoeopathy, and 100 each for Unani and Siddha," an official from the Ayush ministry said.
"Under the task force, the working group will be screening the proposals and then recommend the chosen one to the central government," he added.
Early this month, amid confident claims made by Shripad Naik that British Crown Prince Charles was cured of COVID-19 with the help of alternative medicines, including ayurvedic treatment, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that ayurveda had no cure for COVID-19.
Sawant, a doctor of alternative medicine, said that ayurvedic treatment helps boost the immune system to prevent COVID-19 and said that Goa was the first state to introduce an integrated treatment programme for COVID-19 patients.
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