The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Rishikesh, is conducting a clinical trial to find whether performing yoga and chanting the Gayatri mantra, a religious hymn in Hinduism, can help in the recovery of Coronavirus patients.
"Coronavirus caused by SARS-CoV2 [coronavirus] is one of the major viruses that primarily targets the human respiratory system. The Gayatri Mantra is the most sacred prayer of the Hindus. There is no effective treatment or vaccine for this virus as of yet," a brief provided by AIIMS stated.
"Scientists are racing against time for a miracle cure or a vaccine to fight this pandemic. In this scenario, the role of pranayama and Gayatri mantra chanting which has been used in other diseases and has shown promising effects becomes vital," the summary said.
The trial, funded by the Centre's Department of Science and Technology has also received the approval of the Indian Council of Medical Research's clinical trial registry, reported Scroll.in.
The trial will be conducted on at least 20 patients with "moderate symptoms", who will be split into two equal groups.
One group will receive the standard treatment for COVID, while the other will be made to chant Gayatri Mantra and perform the pranayama asana for 14 days, along with the regular COVID treatment.
The pattern of recovery in the two groups will then be compared to check whether those who received the additional treatment show better recovery.
Before the trial, the levels of C-reactive protein, which measures the level of inflammation in the body, will be recorded in all 20 patients. Other inflammatory markers such as Interleukin 6(IL6) levels, chest X-rays, will also be recorded.
After 14 days of the trial, the hospital will repeat all the tests on all patients to check if the group that chanted the Gayatri mantra and performed Yoga, experienced different inflammatory markers.
Doctors will also assess other possible differences, such as the time taken by the two groups to test negative for the virus, and the duration of their stay in hospitals, reduction in fatigue, or anxiety disorders.