Amidst widespread fear over the Coronavirus outbreak, the AYUSH Ministry on Wednesday, January 29, issued a health advisory recommending homoeopathic, Ayurvedic and Unani medicines to prevent the spread of the virus.
"At the instance of Ministry of AYUSH, Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy(CCRH) discussed the ways and means of prevention of Coronavirus infection through Homoeopathy in 64th meeting of its Scientific Advisory Board on January 28, 2020," an official press release said.
The advisory prescribes a homoeopathic medicine for the course of three days as preventive care against the infection. If the infection prevailed, the dose should be repeated after a month, the advisory added.
Furthermore, the government also recommended few Ayurvedic medicines, Unani decoctions and home remedies to manage the symptoms of the virus.
General hygienic measures for prevention of air-borne infections such as maintaining personal hygiene, washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, were also suggested by the government.
"If you suspect Corona Viral infection, wear a mask and contact your nearest hospital immediately," the advisory said. However, the government also advised on adopting Ayurvedic medication in consultation with registered Ayurveda practitioners.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization(WHO) has said that 'there is currently no known effective antiviral therapy for the new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)'
The government's advisory soon went viral and recieved flak across social media. The Communist Party Of India(Marxist) advised people to follow WHO for 'genuine guidelines on dealing with #coronoavirus.'
Contrary to @PIB_India tweet on behalf of Govt of India which suggests "Homoeopathy for Prevention of #Coronavirus Infection", @WHO clearly states that there is no known effective therapy for #CoronaVirus.— CPI (M) (@cpimspeak) January 29, 2020
Please follow @WHO for genuine guidelines on dealing with #coronoavirus. https://t.co/vl3JXlJuiZ
Many Twitter users were quick to respond to the advisory and some of them even mocked the government. "I think hanging Nimboo Mirchi on everyone's head would be a better solution."
Homoeopathy against CoronaVirus? Seriously??— Advaid (@Advaidism) January 29, 2020
I think hanging Nimboo Mirchi on everyone's head would be a better solution. https://t.co/Gahsgc4D2C
Dr Sumaiya Shaikh, a neuroscientist, tweeted, "Just researched for evidence for each of the Unani drugs suggested by the ministry. None of them, have any evidence in reducing virulence. Likewise, homoeopathy has no evidence for curing any viral infections.
Just researched for evidence for each of the unani drugs suggested by the ministry. None of them, have any evidence in reducing virulence.— Dr Sumaiya Shaikh (@Neurophysik) January 29, 2020
Likewise, homeopathy has no evidence for curing any viral infections.
With dangerous pandemics such as #coronarovirus this is outrageous! https://t.co/wdSRiuXKtU
The Coronavirus epidemic has taken 170 lives in China. So far, there have been 5,974 confirmed and 9,239 suspected cases in the country. The newly identified virus has spread to nearly 16 countries, raising an alarm worldwide.